Economic Tidbits

Delayed Planting – Yield Implications

A recent Agricultural Economic Insights blog highlighted the impacts of delayed planting on national average yields. The article noted that there were only four years since 1980 in which the corn planting progress nationally was less than the progress made this year at a similar time in the planting season (week of May 13).

In looking at statewide average yields in Nebraska in these four years, average statewide corn yields were less than trendline yields in two years, at the trendline in one year, and slightly above the trendline in one year. In two years (1984 & 2013), average yields exceeded the prior years’ yields by greater than 19 percent. In two years (1993 & 1995), average yields were more than 20 percent less than the prior years’ yields.

The Agricultural Economic Insights blog also identified seven years in which the national soybean planting progress was less than the progress seen this year at a similar time in the planting season. For Nebraska, in four of the years, average statewide soybean yields were less than trendline yields, in two years yields were above trendline yields, and at the trendline yield in one year. In three of the years (1981, 1996, 2013), yields exceed the previous years’ yields by 27 percent or more. In the other four years (1983, 1984, 1993, 1995), yields were anywhere from 9 to 30 percent less than the prior years’ yields.

History has shown there’s a greater probability of reduced yields for corn nationally the later the planting date. The yield impact on soybeans of delayed planting is less clear. For Nebraska, it’s a mixed bag. In some years, yields were lower than the trend would suggest. And in other years, yields were more than expected. It’s still early in the growing season with much to come. Only time will tell how this year’s planting delays will affect production and commodity markets. (

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