Corn or Beans: 2013 Acreage Battle Brews

The 2013 Acreage Battle” was the topic of discussion as the U.S. Farm Report was taped recently during the Executive Women in Ag conference in Chicago.

“98 million acres of corn – is that possible?” asked Tyne Morgan, AgDay agribusiness reporter, of participants in a marketing roundtable.  Naomi Blohm of Stewart-Peterson and Sue Martin of Market Analysts Ag Investment Services say farmers are going to plant crops that offer the highest return.  That means farmers in some regions will plant corn-on-corn, while farmer in other areas will return to a more traditional rotation.  The “drought hangover” is causing many farmers to have second thoughts.

“…Drought gets in people’s minds and lingers for years,” said Iowa State University (ISU) Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson in a recent post. “Many farmers want to get their crop rotations back in balance after planting more corn-on-corn in recent years.”

Improved corn genetics, disease/pest challenges in soybeans, improved tillage equipment, and crop insurance considerations have attributed to the rise in corn acres.  Higher cash rent prices likely favor planting corn for the higher net revenue potential, adds Johnson.

While corn may offer the most potential, corn-on-corn performance is largely dependent on management.  Farmers planting continuous corn need to pay closer attention to soil conditions and fertility levels.  They must be vigilant about protecting their crop from disease and insects, including battles with corn rootworm.   Hybrid selection for continuous corn acres is even more important.

Pondering corn-on-corn for 2013?  Here are a few things to keep in mind…

Continuous corn can help prevent erosion by preserving topsoil in areas with HEL (Highly Erodable Land).  Because c-on-c acres require additional nutrients, they can fit well into a nutrient management strategy.  With that said, however, you’ll also want to consider the impact of tillage and crop rotation systems on soil carbon sequestration.

Regardless of whether you choose to plant corn, soybeans or alfalfa, Latham has the products you need!  Our seed portfolio contains products that were bred specifically to thrive in specific areas of the Upper Midwest.  Call your local Latham rep to learn more about the products best suited for your growing conditions, or feel free to call our office directly at 1.877.GO.LATHAM (1.877.465.2842).