This year’s delayed planting is exacerbating an already tense corn market as corn carryout is expected to be below the one billion bushel “comfort” mark. Corn farmers all over Illinois are itching to get in the fields to do their best to meet all their customers’ demands. A quick review of recent history shows that this spring is shaping up to be much like 2008, a year that ended with the second largest corn crop on record.
By this date in 2008, only seven percent of the nation’s corn acres had been planted, a full two percentage points behind this year’s pace of nine percent. 2009 was also relatively slow, with 17 percent planted by this date. Interestingly, in both 2008 and 2009, we reached the halfway mark on corn planting on the same date: May 11th.
Looking at statistics probably does little to settle the anxious nerves of corn farmers. But if history is our best lesson, it looks like corn farmers can pull off another great year with just a little bit of cooperation from Mother Nature.
Catch Illinois Corn Growers Association vice-president Jeff Scates in the news on this issue at the Christian Science Monitor website: Missouri's Black River levee fails. Where floodwaters could hit next.