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Planting update: Late start and slow progress stalled by rain

We are still optimistic we will have crops planted in a timely manner.

Field conditions were right last week, but temperatures were not. We did everything we could except planting.

Forecast low for Sunday morning was 26 degrees. We left the planter in the shed. Monday, we got things rolling. The soybean planting started pretty well. The corn planter didn’t start very smoothly at all. Though hours were spent on it, technology continues to be the central issue. Even when we did get it moving Tuesday, the soil temperature was only 50 degrees.

With the shift in temperature came the winds. Warm southern winds prohibited spraying and impeded spreading fertilizer on many days in the last week. Availability of some fertilizer like kmag (0-0-22-11mg-22s) has also slowed some applications. The port of Indiana ran out last week, and trucks had to be sent four hours away.  

Since Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, we received more than 2 inches of rain. Friday a strong cooler breeze helped to dry out the fields; however, it will likely be today before machinery can move again.

This is giving us a much-welcomed break from the stress of planting. We will use the opportunity to get a few pieces into the shop and make some adjustments. No matter how much prep is done, there is always something that breaks or wears out.

By the calendar it may be a late start. However, mother nature is saying otherwise. Every year we have to be conscious where we park the seed tender. You see, the planter doesn’t like the little whirly-gig seeds that fall off the maple trees. If we park too close to the trees, we spend time cleaning out seed meters. Well, this year the maple trees are just starting to bud, so there aren’t any seeds falling yet. By the calendar, we may be two weeks behind, but in reality, we are not. We are still optimistic we will have crops planted in a timely manner.

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

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