Saturday, February 12, 2011

What To Plant

I see the market is getting all exciting about what farmers should plant. Shoot, I set that course with what I did last year and the year before.

I guess acres do flucuate to make markets respond but it is pretty steady. Not too many farmers just jump into corn after corn or whatever. It looks like corn and cotton are kings with record prices. Someone said cotton is it has been since the Civil War when we ran out of cotton for soldier uniforms.

Watching the hounds on US Farm Report I can see why farmers don't trust marketing advisors either. Not one of them said don't sell much this year and plan to store every bushel you can store or delay price on. Not one of them.

Sound crop rotations make more sense to me. The best one I have found is corn, corn, soybean, soybean, soft red winter wheat double cropped with soybeans. That takes less total fertilizer and pesticide than anything I have done and my soil has really responded to it.

So I think I have sold 11 crops off this farm in 7 years and it has never laid over winter in soybean stubble that is subject to the most erosion here. I have more flexibility in switching crops if I want to also. All this wheat could become corn or soybeans in one trip across the field.

The prices are so high now I really don't see any advantange switching. I can see where the guys that can raise cotton would plant more cotton. I don't expect to see much changing going on around here.

LuAnn said the garden is dry we could till it. I don't doubt that. It might be a good year to plant cole crops and potatoes early but overall I don't like a dry February. Last year covered in snow was better.

Who knows, who really knows. All I can do is plan the best I can and see what happens.

It's like driving down the road, looking out the windshield and wonder what's coming next. I know what to expect but it often turns out a little different than I planned.

But, it has worked for 60 years.


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