This week we are kicking off our I-80 Planting Tour, where we travel across The Corn Belt, talking to producers and checking out conditions. But before the farmers can start their season, the seed dealers are hard at work to deliver seed on time.
Even though Nebraska is dry, we’ve been told there’s a good amount of sub soil moisture in Eastern part of the state. With those conditions the seed dealer I talked to says he’s been busy delivering the past two weeks and he’s even busier than he was last year at this time.
While many in the field are getting that itch to start off this year’s crop, it’s not only go-time for the farmers but the guys behind seed.
“They are getting their operation planters tuned up. We are busy getting the seed sorted so that they have the seed when they need it,” said McKenzie.
Mark McKenzie, and the rest of the crew with GVA INC. are busy loading up seed and making trip after trip like this one, between five counties in Eastern Nebraska.
“It’s a busy time of year but this is what gets anybody that’s involved with agriculture, it gets their blood flowing. Everyone is always excited for those high yields. It’s the potential that’s always out there,” said McKenzie.
This is the first trip of the day, as they follow one by one to another client. They very well could make at least five more.
“With the recent rain last week and more rain forecasted, the soil moisture level should meet within the soil and farmers should be fairly confident to roll,” said McKenzie.
“Within two weeks, we’ll be planting,” said Mead, Nebraska farmer, Duane Johnson. McKenzie says he really hasn’t seen a shift in acres between corn and soybean sales from last year within the counties he works in. He says so far, most aren’t switching up their rotations.
“When it comes to the acres that corn and soybeans cover, it’s pretty much 50-50 to what we move,” said McKenzie. What has changed: McKenzie says more farmers have held off a little longer to make those decisions.
“Any input costs that they have, they’re really concentrating on where they can cut and still maintain the yield,” said McKenzie. It’s another job done, with miles to drive before planting is finished. McKenzie says the price for DeKalb and Asgrow seed has stayed about the same from last year.
This is just the start of our I-80 Planting Tour as we travel from Nebraska to Ohio. Next week, we’ll be in South-Central Nebraska, talking to producers about conditions as well.