Jim Herring, March 26

There has been an early start for 2012 and no shortage of excitement about the months ahead. “I think there is a lot of optimism out there, but the input costs are catching up with the prices pretty quickly. My planters are all out and ready to go. I just need to dump seed in them. We had the anhydrous bar out and I put a little on just to get ready and try things out.”

Like most farms, there is plenty of soil variation, from the rich river-bottom ground that produced the second and third highest yielding corn yields in the country in NCGA’s 2011 Corn Yield Contest, to heavier clay ground that can offer significant planting challenges. “I will hold off planting until April, watch the long-term forecast and go from there. We run two planters and, if conditions are right, we may start on both corn and soybeans at the same time. If it is still in early April, though, we may hold off on beans.”

There is some concern about the warm weather and the early crop of weeds this spring.“There is definitely more weed pressure. Everything is getting an early start this year for sure. We are going to start spraying as soon as the ground is fit to run on. There are also a lot of insects. I am not sure wheat that will lead to this season, but there are a lot of insects out there.”

There is no wheat on the farm, and wheat in the area is of varying quality. “There are a lot of holes in the wheat I’ve seen. There are some good fields if guys got it planted in the right conditions, but I think there are some fields that will be torn up too.”

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