Corn Growers president not concerned about delays

Slow planting progress this season isn’t cause for alarm, not yet anyway, according to Pam Johnson, president of the National Corn Growers Association.

“I think it’s hard to be concerned about too much precipitation after last year, so yes, compared to last year, we’re later,” said Johnson, who farms in Northwest Iowa.

By this week last year, 16 percent of the corn was already in the ground, while the USDA says that as of this past Sunday, just two percent of the corn is planted, about 5 percentage points behind what’s considered to be normal.

“You know, I’ve farmed for 40 years, and I don’t know what a normal year is anymore, but I am just thankful to see the precipitation that we’re getting and hoping that the weather pattern has changed and that we are going to get rain,” Johnson told Brownfield Ag News on Wednesday. “We’ve looked and seen the drought map start to recede for those extremely dry areas.”

So with many areas getting much needed rain, Johnson says a slight delay at this point is not a bother. “It’s early yet,” she said.

Johnson is also heartened by the near-record corn acreage farmers intend to plant.

“I’m certainly looking forward to a robust corn crop across the United States,” said Johnson, “so that we can supply our end users, whether they’re domestic livestock and our ethanol industry and of course those exports that we’ve lost overseas.”

AUDIO: Pam Johnson on planting (2 min. MP3)

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