Reduced Corn Crop Impacts Ag Retailers

Fewer corn acres will have a significant effect on the ag supply chain.

Lindon Gord knows what to expect with a reduction in corn acreage in DeKalb County. “Less crop means less equipment use, less repairs, and less parts,” said the general manager and partner of DeKalb Implement.

Lindon Gord

In DeKalb County about one-fourth of the field corn was not planted based on a wet spring.

“In these unprecedented times in agriculture, farmers are putting their purchases of new and used equipment on hold,” said Gord. The John Deere dealership has seen a downturn in implement purchases for the past five years based on a staggering farm economy.

Gord, from rural Sandwich, says if grain prices rebound, next year will be a better year for farmers and agribusinesses.

John Tuttle

“Farmers are resilient and 30 years from now they will still remember the 2019 crop year,” said John Tuttle, general manager for Conserv FS.

The reduced corn crop has a direct effect on FS’ agronomy division with adjustments made in seeds, chemicals, and other crop inputs. Their workforce is also impacted with employees working less hours overall in field operations based on covering fewer acres. From the agronomic side, the later crop will keep crop specialists busy throughout the summer.

Tuttle says even though the company is seeing the effects of the crop crisis, their diversification puts them in good standing. “We’re in good shape because of our diversification.”

Jeff Craig

Jeff Craig has been a district sales manager for Wyffels for 21 years and hasn’t seen a year like 2019. He helped his customers switch from later maturing hybrids to shorter ones based on the late planting season.

“I was able to accommodate my customers by finding 105-day corn. We moved corn seed around to benefit our growers,” said Craig. “About 30 percent of the corn seed was swapped for shorter seasons.”

“The returned seed required some extra labor to rebag, retag, regerm, retrait and retest every bag at our production plant in Geneseo,” the Wyffels DSM explained.

Craig indicated the company’s seed production and research plots got planted despite this year’s field conditions. “Every day is crucial now to bring the crop to full season and maximize Growing Degree Units.”