Late planted Corn

In Ontario and Quebec in 2011 we will have the majority of the corn planted after the optimum date of May 10th. What does this mean and what should our expectations be?

At the time of writing this (May 18th) it appeared we would be at least a couple of days before we could be back planting. Should we switch hybrids? I would recommend in the shorter growing season areas (<2750 CHU) switching now (drop 100 CHU per week delay but do not go below a 2600 CHU hybrid) and for mid range (2800 – 3000 CHU) switch around May 25th and rest of the area's do not switch until June. (reference: Switching to Earlier Hybrids).

What should we expect for yield this fall due to the delayed planting conditions this spring? First remember many other factors still affect yield other than planting date such as fertility, population, hybrid selection, weather, seed depth, compaction, etc…

Yield : expect to lose one bushel per day delay from May 10th or around 10% if delayed until June.

Harvest Moisture: On average expect one point of moisture increase for every four days delayed from May 10th. If delayed to early June a five point increase or 30% moisture compared to 25% if planted early.

Test Weight: Long term average is one pound of test weight loss for every 10 days delay in planting or 2 lbs if delayed to early June.

What can we expect if delayed to early June? 20 bu per acre ($100.00 per acre) plus on an expected 150 bu/ac crop $0.20/bu drying cost increase (assumed drying $0.04 per point per bu) equals $26.00 per acre. Assuming we do not lose grade due to reduced bushel weight a delay until early June could end up costing $126.00 per acre at $5.00 per bushel corn.

Let’s hope for a break in the weather and get this corn crop into the ground.

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