This is a pretty easy article to write. Unless you live in Minnesota or certain blessed pockets of other states, there's only one way to go for corn growers after 2012, at least as far as yields are concerned. That is up – down isn't an option, especially for some. You can't go any lower than zero yield.
Perhaps the number one suggestion for 2013 is to approach the season with a positive attitude, and not be bummed out any longer by the disaster that was 2012 for many people. These 10 'tips' might help you get in the proper frame of mind.
Here's why 2013 must be a better year for corn producers:
#10: It got colder than 20 degrees this winter in Indianapolis – Some think the lack of winter last year set us up for a lot of things, like insects, diseases and more. It's already been colder on several occasions than at any time last winter.
#9: The creek banks were rising – Maybe they haven't yet where you are, but they did in parts of the Eastern Corn Belt. Three inches of rain fell in one weekend, spread over 24 hours. People had to look twice to believe their eyes. Water was actually out of the creek bank, flooding low-lying areas.
#8: Better sales for every seed company – That's what every salesman that has stopped at one farmer's farm this winter has told him. It's a great year and sales are way up. He's trying to figure out who is losing sales … apparently they aren't visiting his farm.
#7: March will be cooler and you won't plant too early – If you're a betting person and bet on a cooler March than last year, you're a sure winner. In parts of the Corn Belt it wasn't just warmer than normal, it smashed records and set new ones that could last for decades.
#6: Every company had a plot winner somewhere – Pick any company you want. They all had winners in some plot somewhere. So how can you lose?
#5: No corn, no fertilizer – If you didn't harvest any corn or very little, obviously you didn't use up many nutrients, except you may not be able to hand on to the nitrogen. Not spending as much on P and K should save some bucks.
#4: Congress is promising to pass a new farm bill – Isn't that reassuring?
#3: Special potions come out of the woodwork – You can buy all kinds of stuff in a jug that guaranteed to add a few bushels here and a few there. Some of them probably work. Add it all up and you could grow 400 bushels per acre. That's definitely better than last year!
#2: Even farmers younger than 30 now know disaster is possible – Not everyone who lived through 2012 farmed in 1988, and very few farmed in 1936. Going into this year more people understand what can happen if things go south. It can change how you think and how you manage.
#1: Even a blind squirrel gets an acorn sometimes – Throw a dart at the trend yield board blindfolded and the odds of coming up with a better trend yield, which deviates less than last year's, is nearly 100%. Bob Nielsen of Purdue University calculated that in Indiana, 2012 produced the biggest drop in corn yield form trend yield since 1866, when they started looking at such things.