Be Patient for Planting, Says Specialty Hybrids Agronomist Tom Manney
So far this spring, only two percent of Michigan’s corn and six percent of the state’s soybeans have been planted as of May 1, according to the USDA. However, many Michigan farmers have yet to start planting due to the recent cold, wet conditions.
“Planting date is only one of the many factors of ultimately what’s getting us the yield outcome at the end of the year,” according to Tom Manney, technical agronomist with Specialty Hybrids. Even though the weather conditions haven’t been ideal so far this spring, he says it’s best to wait for the right conditions—and take your time once planting begins.
“Although it is very important to get the crop in, it’s far more important to get the crop in a good seed bed and establish a good stand rather than just trying to get the corn planted as quickly as possible,” says Manney.
“There’s nothing wrong with being patient. We can still raise a great corn crop here if planted in mid-May, so there’s nothing that needs to be rushed yet—but, but make sure your team is doing a good job while running the planter. Ultimately, we need to get a good uniform stand—and that’s going to set us up for success for the rest of the year.”
Manney says the number one question farmers are asking him this planting season: ‘Should soybeans be planted first?’
“There’s nothing wrong with planting soybeans on the earlier side. They do tend to perform a little bit better and are a little bit more resilient to cold, wet conditions. However, if field conditions are fit, growers can go either way. If they feel comfortable getting their beans in, that’s fine. I wouldn’t want them to neglect their corn crop either just to make sure they get their beans in.”
He adds that the latest corn hybrids and soybean varieties are much better at adapting to less favorable weather conditions.
“Hybrids today are much more resilient to temperature, rainfall or adverse weather than they have been in years’ past,” says Manney. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that they like it, but they do a better job of handling it.”
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