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The 2016 U.S. Corn Crop Is Being Planted

The very first corn of 2016 is going into the ground. In Texas, this week’s weather has allowed farmers to set the planters in the ground and the tractors to ‘blow and go’.

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Some area farmers have been planting for a week and are nearing finishing planting corn, according to Dan Bradshaw, Crop Aid Agricultural Consultants in El Campo, Texas. 

“We were wet for a month, then the weather turned dry in February. And so, far, it has been perfect for planting corn,” Bradshaw says. 

Because the state is so large, the corn planting window is about 3 1/2 months long. The five-year average indicates that Texas farmers have 5% of corn planted by February 22, about 10% planted in the first week of March, and finished in Mid-May.  

Despite Midwestern farmers talking about planting more soybeans to cut production costs, Texas farmers are leaning towards more corn due to lower soybean profits.

Bradshaw stated that Ramsey doesn’t see price prospects very good with any of the potential crops. 

“Dick said he is not looking to make much money with any crop - but is looking to farm to lose the least and still be around when prices become more favorable,” Bradshaw says. 

The southeast Texas farmer stuck with putting on enough fertilizer this year in an attempt to make a good corn crop, if there is not too much risk of crop loss at harvest. 

“This is sometimes the case with soybeans, if rain comes at harvest,” Bradshaw says. Unlike his corn crop, Ramsey did not put as much P and K on soybeans as he might like to try, due to weather risk at harvest. He did not short on corn fertilizer, as he needs to make a good yield and it is less risky on irrigated land,” the crop consultant says.

The Texas corn planted this week will be ready to be harvested by about the third week in July.  

Southeast Texas fall rains started early and continued until the first of the year, Bradshaw says. “But, it has been dry since then. Fields that were well prepared early have moisture for planting and sub moisture to get crop started. Others will need rain for planting.”

Chart below courtesy of FC Stone Intl. 

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