In North Florida we start planting corn as early as February some years. This year has seen a later start, and for some, an abrupt finish. The mantra lately has been “cotton is going up, corn is going down.” Cool soils and freezing temperatures have kept a lot of seed corn in the bag until recently, and some farmers are reportedly returning seed which was in extremely tight supply only a month ago. In most cases farmers are wrapping up and getting ready to start planting peanuts or cotton. For some that was a decision made long ago, for others it was a last minute economic decision as they feel the optimum planting window for corn has passed and USDA projections have impacted the markets.
One area farm that put some equipment modifications to the test is the Fulford Family who finished planting their corn crop this week in Madison County. Stephen Fulford was running the strip till rig ahead of the planter and laying out straight rows with RTK-GPS. Clay Fulford was following up with the Monosem planter on 36 inch twin rows to plant 32,000 seeds per acre. They installed Schlagel closing wheels to reduce crusting issues on the heavier soils they farm. They had to spread the planter units out to 9.5 inches apart to make everything fit. Clay is pumping 9 gallons/acre of fertilizer per row as a starter fertilizer, to put out 60 lbs of Nitrogen.