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Planting season could be delayed due to COVID-19

Indiana planting season could be delayed due to COVID-19

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a possibility planting season may be delayed due to coronavirus concerns.

Most farmers know the weather is bound to change from now until May. Half of all crops are normally planted by the 20th of May. But as things continue to be locked down, it’s deliveries like seed and fertilizer that could delay the start of planting.

Purdue soybean agronomist and farmer Dr. Shaun Casteel says retailers are the biggest concern. They’re still serving farmers but some dealers aren’t servicing equipment, just supplying the part. This means some of the normal modes of operation may get delayed.

Dr. Casteel’s advice for farmers is to go ahead and get seed delivered and any other products on the farm needed for planting. He says he even if a crop doesn’t get into the ground until the middle of May, it had the rest of the growing season to develop.

“Soybeans in a highly producing area might be around 75 or 80 bushels, they may be down to 65 or 70 bushels depending on the planning date and so the potential may not be as high but you will still have the rest of the growing season, Dr. Casteel said. “If you end up with an August and September that gives us moderate temperatures, sunlight and good moisture, then we can kind of makeup for limited production on the front end of the season.”

Last year was the third latest planting crop season in the last 40 years. Farmers weren’t out in the fields until the middle of June due to the weather.

Dr. Casteel says nearly one million acres of corn and soybean in the state weren’t planted.

Due to COVID-19, farmers may not have as much flexibility when it comes to potential shifts in acreage, so planning ahead will be beneficial.