Corn planting is moving fast in Missouri and central Illinois, says Dave Long, the Case IH crop production sales specialist who has been covering this territory for the past five years. It’s familiar territory in more ways than one: Long grew up on a farm in northwest Missouri. Before joining Case IH 13 years ago, he managed a grain elevator and retail fertilizer facility in Missouri.
Just about everybody’s going a couple weeks earlier than normal. I had one guy in central Missouri who started planting corn in mid-March. We had growers in the Hannibal area, south of Quincy, Illinois, who were planting the week of March 19. April 1 is more the norm.
In southwest and northeast Missouri, there has been good planting progress. In southwest Missouri, there are a few farmers done planting corn, others are getting close. As you go North of I-70 in the northwest corner of the state, it has been wet. Some people have the planters rolling, but a lot of guys haven’t started yet. Everybody got rain over the weekend, so everything stopped.
In central Illinois from Springfield to the west, there has been a lot of progress, and a few people in this area are done planting corn. It has been unseasonably warm and unusually dry, so we were pretty happy to see the weekend rains. There’s corn up between Jacksonville and Quincy, and some of it has been up for awhile. We had some areas with frost last week, I have not heard of any crop damage.
One thing we’re noticing throughout my territory is that the fall work we did with the Case IH Ecolo- Tiger 870® to cut up the stalks and get them mulched into the soil has left us with a really good foundation this spring. The 870 set us up with very uniform, level fields, and it’s producing some very nice seedbeds.
We recently had three “jump start” meetings for 300+ farmers who are new to red planters (and guys who just want a refresher course). Early Riser® owners come in and we walk through the software, show them how the planter works mechanically, and get it set up so they’ll be ready to plant when the sun shines.
Have you heard of any frost damage in your area? Let us know.