Billy Pontius, March 26

The nice conditions in March allowed for some early spring productivity on the 2,900-acre farm based in southern Fairfield County. “We’ve gotten some field work done. We sprayed some bean ground last week and we ran about 500 acres with tillage too. We’re putting residual down when we burn it down. That residual will last 2 or 3 months and that will hopefully hold us until June when we’ll need to get out and spray anyway. We’re trying to get ahead of these weeds. I am also going to play it safe and put insecticide down on my corn ground when I spray.

“I know west of here towards Washington Courthouse, there were a few guys out planting. I knew a cold snap was going to hit and I’m glad I didn’t plant anything yet. I am going to try and wait until at least April 6 for crop insurance reasons. Tonight it is supposed to be 25 degrees and I don’t need corn sitting in the ground when it is 25 degrees. But, the soil temperature was 58 or 59 last week at 7 in the morning. The soil was getting right there, but it doesn’t take long for cold, wet weather to cool things back down pretty fast. I am kind of glad to see it get cold to keep me from going out and planting. We got out and got some stuff done, got our equipment  running. That way, the next go around, we can go out and hit it hard. That usually doesn’t happen in March.

“It is a little more nerve racking this year with the prices of the inputs we have out there. Last year, corn prices were a lot higher going into planting. Now we’re down to $5.50 corn and if it dries up this summer we’d better make sure we do it right the first time.”

 

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