The biggest problem when it gets this late for planting is the rush. It's like waiting until Christmas Eve to do your Christmas shopping. You end up at the mall with all the other procrastinators, and come home crabby after failing to find the perfect present. Instead, we push to get everything done, working long hours and minor breakdowns have major implications. You would be well advised to avoid all farmers during the month of May. We're either crabby because we're not in the field, or crabby because we are, and now we're short of sleep and patience.
I visited with a banker this week, and he asked me if I thought farmers were prepared to deal with lower yields. We've had a few good years, and it is easy to forget the years with mediocre yields. Farmers do have crop insurance, but it covers you in a disaster. Most farmers buy insurance that covers them if yields are below 65% to 75% of a normal yield. Take away 25% to 35% of your income for the year, and think about how you would handle it. It is not a disaster, but it certain causes some serious pinches.
A headline from this morning's newspaper read "Farmers got too much aid in drought, report says." Interesting. Drought affected many farmers last summer, and they collected crop insurance, but that insurance helped provide them with 65% to 75% of their normal income. You can purchase up to 85% crop insurance, but it is quite costly, and few farmers are willing to spend that much on insurance. It should be noted that the "report" quoted in the article was written by a lobbying organization that is anti-farming. I wouldn't exactly call that non-biased.
It's too early for me to begin thinking about crop insurance. We had to purchase it by March 15, so it's not like we can make changes. And I do not plan to collect crop insurance this year. I have confidence Mother Nature will get back on track, and give us spring weather, and soon!
On a positive note, we do have 240 acres of winter wheat planted. Oh sure it was planted last fall, but still. We're 240 acres ahead of our neighbors. Ha!