Planters rolling beneath sunny skies

John Schumm

It is partly cloudy right now but it is supposed to be a good day today and a better day tomorrow. 

We had 4 to 5 inches of snow and I did see 24 degrees on my truck thermometer last week. We planted around 90 acres of beans early and we thought maybe we ought to stop. Looking back, I wish we would have planted a lot because it was perfect planting conditions. 

It was cold enough that I thought it could have done some damage but boy the beans look pretty good. I was surprised. We had a few beans that were just pushing dirt and I was concerned that really cold snap would just take them out. Walking across them yesterday, though, I don’t think the freeze touched them. I think we fared very well. I didn’t see anything turning black. We can see a lot of buttons on our beans and tomorrow they should be opening up.

It is supposed to be really nice here and the neighborhood has started moving. We should be planting corn today. The ground is fit. It is a little cool, but it is time to go.

The cover crops are growing. It is a little cooler in that ground and it is holding a little moisture. Normally we are a day or so out when our neighbor’s start ripping ground. We are still fairly dry though and things will plant well I think.

We plant green and try a day or two afterwards to put our burndown on and go from there. It is amazing when it mats down how clean the fields are. If you have an area of the field that does not get enough cover crop on it, there is a tremendous difference in weed pressure there.  

Don Jackson

It is good to see the sunshine that is for sure. Hopefully it warms up this week. It is supposed to. 

We had a couple of nice days last week, but then we ended up with about 4 inches of snow. It was melted off by noon. We finished up all of our preparations and we’re ready to plant. We actually got started yesterday with beans. I am finishing some details on the planter right now and hopefully we get going later this morning with the corn. Planting conditions are going to be about perfect in the next 2 or 3 days. 

The ground is dry on top and it is planting pretty nice. We are concerned about rain towards the middle of the week, but with the weather warming up, we’re ready to really get started. We hate to get a first cold drink for the corn in the ground during the first day or two after it is planted.

We got started in April last year and had some beans almost up around that freeze on Mother’s Day last year. Normally we try to get going this last week of April. I would have had some planting done a couple of weeks ago, but we had other things come up. I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t plant.

My agronomist said they have been walking fields and it looks like some of the beans may struggle after the snow. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

The topsoil has adequate moisture, but I’m not sure about the subsoil. I think we are getting further behind every day on overall moisture. This is not the time of year to get caught up on it either. 

Ross Black

Things sure look a heck of a lot better this week than they did last week. We started with some patchy frost this morning and it was 33 or 34 degrees. But it is getting warmer and it is time to start planting. We have some pre- spray down and some dry fertilizer down, but as cold and damp as it has been we have been pretty hesitant to work anything ahead of the planter. With looming talk of a drought, I’d hate to lose any moisture we have. 

We have the capability of conventional tillage, vertical tillage and no-till, but if the ground is fit and I don’t have to work it, I’ll save the money and no-till it. As long as we can get good seed to soil contact and hit that 2-inch planting depth, I’ve never had issues no-tilling. It always makes you nervous, though, because you could try three different things. It seems like whatever you think is right that day, and then you get a week down the road and say, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but it is too late now.”           

We have 50 acres of wheat and it got its second shot of nitrogen over the weekend. It looks really good.

It looks like we could have pop-up storms on Wednesday night and steady rain on Thursday, but not much more than an inch of rain. The goal is to hopefully plant Tuesday and Wednesday and then hopefully next weekend we can get back at it and knock some acres out.

I’d like to start with planting corn, but I’ve never really had the chance to plant early beans and I would like to plant a field or two of beans early. Dad and Grandpa put me in charge of planting. I run the corn planter and the bean planter. They pick up everywhere else. Dad works all the ground and gets all the spraying done. Grandpa moves trucks around and is a huge help. I’m glad he’s still around to help us.

Bill Daugherty

We started planting corn Friday evening. We just got started planting a little Saturday and got rained out. We planted a big chunk on Sunday and we have a little over 100 acres of corn in. The bean planter is full but there are no beans in the ground yet.

We also mowed about 100 acres of rye yesterday and want to finish mowing rye this morning and start chopping rye this evening and all day tomorrow to try and get all of our rye off.

The snow did not really affect us. We did not have any crops in the ground other than new seedings. Things dried out much better than anticipated. We looked at the ground on Friday and decided to get rolling. Things have been closing well. We got all of our fertilizer on last week. We are off to a good start and anxious to continue rolling through this spring.

We are trying to get corn in on some of our best bottom ground before we start chopping. We want to get the rye off and then we are looking at May 5 to May 10 if Mother Nature cooperates to try and get our first cutting of better cow-quality hay off. We’ll make round bales for heifers and dry cows through the rest of May and into June. The robots are taking care of all of the cows for us while we are working in the fields.

We are looking at a high of 65 today and 80 tomorrow with sun. That should help dry the rye really well. We never like to make rye too dry and we are encouraged by the weather. There is possible rain coming in on Wednesday. We are hoping we have some time to do field work on Wednesday before that. We feel like we are really good on moisture and in a positive situation going into the season. 

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