FARMER’S GAMBLE: Farmers Get An Early Start

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April 11th is the magic date for farmers across Iowa. Any feed corn planted on Wednesday or after is covered by federal crop insurance. That means farmers will be reimbursed for a re-plant if there’s a killing frost.

The ground is cooperating so much this year some farmers couldn’t wait to get started. Mike Penick planted his sweet corn about a month ago.

“We haven`t had any frost in this area so everything is looking good here. I am a lot more fortunate than a lot of people throughout the state,” said Penick, who continued saying some farmers he knows lost an entire crop.

By some standards, Penick is still taking a gamble by hitting the fields early. Because he planted before crop insurance takes effect, if anything happens to his crop, he gets nothing.

“Across the United States, this year is the largest number of acres that are intended to be planted in corn since 1937,” said Jay Johnson, the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, “In Iowa alone we have projected to be 14.6 million acres which is a half a million increase over last year.”

Penick isn’t adding additional acres to his corn fields, but he is getting an early start, and keeping an eye out for the unpredictable frost.

“It’s always in the back of your mind, but you do what you can when you can. Whens the grounds working like it is you want to go ahead and plant,” said Penick.