Jonathan Dansel / Seed Manager
I am writing this correspondence on October 21st, combines are rolling hard and the mornings are getting chilly. That can only mean one thing, it is already time to start building your hybrid portfolio for 2020 as final yields and test plot data start rolling in. 2019 is a year many are ready to put in the rear view mirror as it has delivered several challenges, and the last few days were no exception. Dry corn and gust to 50mph are never a good combination. We went from a hard freeze, back to 80 degrees and windy and the moisture "fell out of bed" on many hybrids. Fields were dropping from 21 moisture to 12 in just over a week...when moisture falls below 15% you are losing yield in water weight. In 200 bushel corn when moisture falls from 15% to 11% eight bushels have been lost, so now a field of 200 bushel corn is now 192 bushel/acre corn
As of today, the news I am hearing overall is dry land yields are pretty solid, a lot of 110-130 bushel yields, even some 140-150 bushel where guys dodged the hail and had good rain fall on rotated ground. As for irrigated, the story is this....the yields are not what guys expected. Fields that made 240 last year are making 210-215 this year. 220-225 bushel corn will be considered a win this year from what I am gathering across NWKS. I just do not feel like 2019 was the year for monster yields on irrigated in general with the early challenges the spring presented....cold soil in the spring is never a recipe for big yields come fall. We are in a Grand Solar Minimum cycle right now, with 2020 being the projected low of this cycle. This cycle is approximately a 10 year cycle, and if one remembers back to 2008 and 2009 it matches up perfectly with what we are having now. I am expecting 2020 to be a very similar year in that we will probably have a cool start in the spring, and present many of the same challenges that lower sun spot activity presents. If it were not for the hard freeze we had I don't think there would be much irrigated corn being picked yet. I know in 2008 I didn't pick irrigated corn until November 5th.
Our partnering brands FINALLY pushed some of the early pay deadlines back this year which is what dealers have been arguing for. Let the farmer get his crop in before he has to start writing checks for next years seed to get the best deal. We will offer an early booking program once again this year to allow you a chance to lock in the maximum cash discount without having to write a check until the end of the year, or after the new year, whichever works best for you in tax planning. However, if there are hybrids that you KNOW you want for 2020 be sure to talk to your agronomy salesman and he can start to speak for seed so we have it secured for you and we can iron out the details after harvest.
As the 2019 growing season comes to an end I would like to thank you for your seed business. Frontier Ag is serious about knowing the products we offer to our growers and how to help place them on your farm. We look forward to sitting down with you after harvest and helping you develop a solid plan for 2020 to help you be as profitable as possible with elite seed genetics from our partnering seed companies. It is a privilege for Frontier Ag to be your trusted seed advisers and we do not take that responsibility lightly. Have a safe harvest out there!