Spring planting wouldn’t be spring planting without up-and-down weather. But there comes a time when we would welcome an extended dry spell to bring the season to a timely conclusion. Many farmers in parts of Illinois and Indiana are more than ready to see the dust fly again.
Today’s guest blogger is Ben Werner, Case IH crop production product specialist. Ben covers the eastern half of Kentucky, plus southern Illinois and all of Indiana. Here is his planting report from the field:
Rain, rain and more rain. This common thread has encompassed Indiana and the southern half of Illinois as of late. My territory is awfully wet, but we hope to get back going again this week.
Indiana was able to start planting within the last few weeks, only to be stopped by rain during the last week of April. Central Illinois was blessed with good weather early in April, allowing most of the corn to be planted, before the rains set in. Southern Illinois and the eastern half of Kentucky has gotten off to a slower start, due to wet weather early.
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What are normal conditions? When I think back on recent planting seasons, none jumps out as “normal.” Each has had its own unique challenges, whether it has been cold and wet, warm and dry, or somewhere in between. The new normal appears to be that there is no “normal.” The rain has been challenging so far, just about the time that the fields dry out, we get another shower.
Case IH Rowtrac™ technology has enabled farmers to get back in the fields a bit earlier. The True-Tandem™ 335VT vertical tillage has been a go-to tool for helping to air out the ground and encourage drying. The proven Early Riser® series planters — second to none for early, even emergence — become more important as we prepare to react to this year’s challenges.
My advice. Challenging conditions provide just one more reason to work closely with your Case IH dealer, to ensure that your planter is in tip-top condition. Today’s market conditions make it doubly important that we do the best job possible putting the seed in the ground. Planting that crop starts it all. I would encourage you to resist the urge to “run those parts one more year.” And please don’t skimp on maintenance. No amount of inputs will make up for a poor job of planting. Be patient with wet fields. Working too-wet fields can cause long-term harm. But above all, be careful, and stay safe.
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