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Corn Planting Delay: Switching to Soybeans

“Rain, Rain, go away… we’d like to plant some corn today!” Well, that might not be exactly how the old nursery rhyme went, but it is how many farmers in the northern Corn Belt have felt this planting season. Though some folks might have been able to get most of their original corn crop planted by Memorial Day, others probably weren’t so lucky. In that case, what should you do? Should you select a shorter season corn hybrid, or switch to planting soybeans? Let’s review the options.

Planting Shorter Season Corn

Some earlier hybrids are still available and are actually top-performing choices when placed on the right soil types. In Michigan, Golden Harvest hybrids G95D32-3110 and G90Y04A-3110A brands have shown top yields and won plots when placed against much fuller season hybrids multiple years in a row. As you can see from the combined 2016 and 2017 data, these 2 hybrids can yield. In more than 2,500 trials across the U.S., these hybrids have averaged nearly 200 bu/A.

ProductYieldNumber of Trials
Golden Harvest hybrid G95D32-3110 brand208.0 bu/A2,574
Golden Harvest hybrid G90Y04A-3110A brand197.8 bu/A3,402

Planting hybrids such as these allow you to take full advantage what is left of the growing season while limiting your risk of yield loss due to a shorter growing season. 

Switching to Soybeans
Once June 10 passes, changing corn acres to soybeans becomes a more serious conversation. Evaluate a couple goals as you consider the switch:
  • Do you need corn to feed livestock? What are your options for silage vs. high-moisture corn?
  • How important is it to keep a good crop rotation? Sometimes it comes down to planting, or not getting a crop in the ground.
If you do switch to soybeans, remember that later planted soybeans also have a few more management considerations to ensure success. Michigan State University offers several agronomic insights on maximizing yield in delayed planting situations. 

As you look to make your final planting decisions, contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

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