Today’s guest blogger is Jeff Middleton, the Case IH crop production sales specialist covering Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Ontario. Jeff grew up helping on his grandparents’ poultry farm, where they also had an ornamental shrub nursery. Before joining Case IH, Jeff spent 18 years in the seed business.
In Ontario they’ve had an unseasonably warm, dry spring, and planting started really early. In some areas of western Ontario, they started planting corn four weeks earlier than normal. I’d say corn is 98 percent planted, and soybeans are more than 90 percent complete.
In the states along the East Coast – Mid Atlantic Region, corn is 80 to 85 percent complete. In Delaware and Maryland, the number probably is higher than 95 percent. The full-season soybean crop is about 85 percent planted.
The next step will be barley harvest, beginning the first part of June. Barley’s ahead of schedule, too. Then we’ll go into wheat harvest, about mid-June. Double-crop soybean planting will follow barley and wheat harvest in the Mid Atlantic Region.
The wheat crop appears to be good in Ontario and harvest will start by early July. And then farmers will get ready for fall harvest.
In a few areas, where growers are still planting corn and soybeans, vertical tillage is being used to get the ground ready ahead of the planter. One of the biggest issues farmers continue to deal with is the high residue levels from corn, and the time it takes to decompose. That’s where the True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo comes into play. It’s increasing in popularity and usage because it helps manage residue from the new, improved corn hybrids.
Growers use the 330 Turbo in the fall for cutting and sizing residue and mixing it with the soil so the residue begins the decomposition process over the winter. Then they can come back to those same fields in the spring and use the Case IH 330 Turbo again to smooth and level the seed bed. This helps optimize planter performance in establishing a stand, improving even emergence and placement of seed.
Throughout Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States, our Early Riser® 1240 split-row planter is another success story. We’ve made significant improvements in the last three years – to the bulk fill system, hoppers, the seed delivery system, the opening disk and closing system – and the Case IH planter business is growing. It’s a dual purpose planter with a lot of flexibility. Farmers are using our 1240 Split-Row configuration to plant corn, and then using the inter plant rows to plant soybeans in both conventional and no-till ground. I see a trend that indicates a move away from the traditional grain drill because of the crop performance success with the split-row configuration. It doesn’t take much time to switch, maybe 10 to 15 minutes a row, with just a few simple adjustments.
Do you use a split-row planter? How long does it take you to make the switch from corn to beans?