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Planting Update: Planters Roll in Illinois; Slow Emergence a Concern

May 7, 2014
By: Tyne Morgan, Ag Day TV National Reporter
Aerial Planting 4

Planting 2014 is finally on in northern Illinois, but soil temperatures are still on the minds of many farmers.

An aerial view shows what many northern Illinois farmers have been waiting for: Planting 2014 is finally on.

"We're real good, actually. It's dried out nice now, and our subsoil moisture is very good," says Trenton Toftoy who farms in the Newark, Ill., area. "Right now, today, the planting conditions are really good."

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He says for May 7, he’s in excellent shape.

"Maybe about 30% complete on corn and maybe about 5% on beans. We actually just started beans this week," he says.

For Toftoy, that's right in line with his average planting pace.

"Last year we didn't get into the field until May 1," he says. "So, this year I had one week of panting in April versus last year we did not."

Toftoy's game plan is simple. He'd rather have the seed in the ground right now than sitting in the shed.

"Yeah, it's time to plant corn. It's May, you know, it's time to put the corn in the ground," he says. "Whatever Mother Nature does from here on out is out of our control."

Thirty miles south, Dan Mitchell's mindset is a little different this year.

"There are some fields around here that were planted the week before Easter that still haven't emerged," says Mitchell, a farmer in Seneca, Ill. "So, when you look at that, I’d rather plant mine when it gets warm and the corn comes up in a week and we have a better stand, maybe."

Northern Illinois farmers aren’t alone. The latest USDA Crop Progress report shows six of the top corn growing states have no corn emerging yet. Nationally, 7% of the corn crop is up, behind the average of 13%. In Illinois, emergence is at 8%, also behind.

Consdinering the slow emergence this spring, Mitchell says he has no regrets he has only 150 acres of corn in the ground. He says it’s just been way too cold and wet.

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