I-80 Planting Tour 2017: Illinois Farmers Wait for Fields to Dry

May 3, 2017 12:36 PM

There are flooded and soggy fields following a massive weekend storm in southern Illinois. Field work will be slow and many areas will need to be replanted within the next couple of weeks. 

It’s the first breakdown of the season for the Barickman operation in Ancona, Ill.

A breakdown couldn’t have happened at a better time for the father and son duo of Jim and Joel Barickman. They didn’t want to chance putting more seed in the ground a day before the big storm.

“It’s a concern,” said Joel, Jim’s son. “If you get six inches of pounding rain on top of corn that hasn’t emerged yet, you could end up getting your rain socked in.” 

As predicted, those showers came. Heavy rains created standing water on fields. The Barickmans received six inches of rain on their operation. Joel expects some replant in the area, but the location will be spotty. 

“Planting some before and after the rain is going to hedge my risk, and I’ll be in a good position,” said Joel.

Others around him have much more corn in the ground. 

“Most people are 60 to 70 percent done with corn around here,” said Joel. “Some people are completely done. Others, with more medium soils have barely started.”

That means more time the Barickmans can spend together until soils dry. 

“It’s good to have a relationship where you can bicker and argue about stuff but at the end of the day, you’re always on the same page,” said Joel.

It’s too early in the year to know if 2017 will be memorable for the Barickman operation either because of prices or the wet weekend.

“It’s a concern but it’s a roll of the dice,” said Joel. “The conditions were fit to plant so we’ve been planting. Everyone else has been doing the same.” 

Yet every season is memorable farming with your family, even if it’s working through a breakdown.

“I went away to college and worked in Champaign, Ill. for five years,” said Joel. “I came back here to farm with my Dad,”

“I’m really pleased he came back to farm,” said Jim. 

Joel says he stuck with his rotations this year, but he wishes he would have planted more beans-on-beans, based on prices.

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Spell Check

Yosemite Sam
Springfield, IL
5/4/2017 10:15 AM

  Plant more beans because of price? Has Joel not been paying attention of what bean prices have done? Sometimes I just scratch my head on comments my fellow farmers say.


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