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Focusing In On 2021 Decisions

Dec 11, 2020

Now that we are putting a close to the 2020 cropping season, we are shifting focus on the 2021 crop. So, what should we plan for? An average year, a dry year, or a wet year?

If we look at the last 6 years' precipitation, we have had two average, two below average, and two above-average years.

The data below shows rain totals for the Ocheyedan and Doon weather stations. You can see a couple of years where there was quite a difference between the weather station locations which are only 30 miles apart.  Unpredictable.

*Data from the Iowa State Soil Moisture Network
  Ocheyedan    Doon  
  Apr-Nov   Apr- Nov  
  Precip " vs 6 yr avg Precip " vs 6 yr avg
2015 26 92% 30 112%
2016 35 124% 19 71%
2017 23 81% 23 86%
2018 38 134% 38 142%
2019 32 113% 35 131%
2020 16 57% 16 60%
Range   57%-134%   60%-142%
Avg 28.3   26.8  

Temperatures and planting date variations led us to have corn mature in August this year compared to some corn that did not get fully mature last year before the end of the growing season. Complete opposites in consecutive years—again, unpredictable!

We cannot predict what type of season is coming next year, we must plan for something near average and adjust in-season as best we can. The temptation going into 2020 was to jump to earlier hybrids since we did not get many acres finished last year. This year in general, the later maturity of the hybrid the better it performed. Overreacting to 2019 conditions would have been a poor decision.

Keep your “eye on the ball” and you will reduce risk. Make sound agronomic decisions NOT based on emotion or last year’s bias.

Let your CFE agronomist help you plan for success.

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