Berryton, Kan.

Our last report had us cooling our heels, and for the most part that hasn’t changed. We had a small but furious window from the afternoon of May 16 through the evening of May 17 to plant more corn. We were able to plant a third of our corn acres, getting us to just over half done. Those fields are not quite emerging yet, but they are close. The emergence issues from the earlier planted corn has improved some. The most suspect field never quite turned around and would have been an easy decision to replant if we had time. Right now, it’s more important to get unplanted acres covered. I doubt we will have an opportunity to replant any corn. In a year of bad choices, that’s what happens.

At this point, the forecast shows a dry stretch, and I am hopeful we will get another 10-20 percent of our corn planted around the last day of May. It will take good drying weather to get back in the field this week, but I remain optimistic it will happen. The worst of the rains last week missed us. I’ll take it as a good sign for now.

Once we cross over into June, very few unplanted corn acres will remain in corn. From purely a risk management perspective, it is important that I respect where insurance guarantees are for corn versus soybeans now that we are in the late planting period for corn. Very few fields offer a revenue protection level this year for late-planted corn that exceeds soybeans beyond the first few days of June. Also, full insurance coverage on beans runs to June 25 in our county. Thus, I expect perhaps a third or more of our total corn acres will switch back to beans. It’s not an ideal choice, but it carries fewer risks as a new producer with plenty of debt.

Local basis on corn has dropped to -.03. Soybean and wheat basis levels are unchanged at -0.65 and -0.10 respectively. — Ryan Johnson