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Planter in the field with snow flying Kyle Stackhouse
It was sleeting as I finished up spraying last Saturday.

A cold, wet start to planting

These are not good conditions to have seed in the ground. We may have to switch hybrids.

Like many areas, 2019 is becoming a challenging year here in Indiana. It only feels that way when you take a look at the calendar. The weather certainly has not felt like spring yet.

Saturday morning I did some spraying. First time ever I remember it sleeting as I finished up. Hopefully, the spray works, but with the forecast, I had to try or we would certainly be dealing with a wooly mess when we are able to get in the fields again. By the time dad finished putting strips in a field a few hours later, you could barely see the tractor through all the snowflakes.

Safe place for seed

I’ve heard from a couple farmers who have the opinion that the safest place for seed right now is in the bag in the seed shed. Sunday morning, the low was 33 degrees F, that’s 3-5 degrees above what the forecast was (likely thanks to all the rain). The soils are now saturated and the forecast keeps it that way.  We are under flood warnings as rivers, ditches, and streams rise. I don’t want to exaggerate - we are nowhere near the conditions those in Iowa and Nebraska experienced earlier this year, nor are we even close to the historic flooding our area experienced a year ago February. My point is, it’s just not good conditions to have seed in the ground, and it’s going to be awhile before anything else gets done.

Earlier maturing corn hybrids

Hushed murmurs are beginning to be heard on trading corn to earlier maturities. There are rumbles of securing more bean seed (that’s not necessarily good in a year where quality seed is hard to come by).

I wouldn’t say the switch is on, but it’s beginning to go through our thoughts. We’re working on a new plan for cornfields as we fear the strip till and deep fertilizer placement we had planned on will not happen on every field. We’re trying to figure out how much fertilizer we can put in a 2x2x2 row starter. I also expect we will have a discussion today on whether or not we can find a way to put an additional fertilizer opener on the planter.

All that being said, I received an email from Jan Motz, our salesperson at DF Seeds yesterday. The subject was ‘Just two weeks’. It was a subtle reminder that it only takes two weeks of decent weather to plant corn and two weeks to plant soybeans. Of course, when guys run both a corn and bean planter, some of that time overlaps.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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