I-80 Planting Tour IN: Prep Before ‘Chillier’ Temps Arrive

01:48PM Apr 08, 2020
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The weather will soon seem a little chilly for April, starting mid-week, and it could last for up to two weeks for Northern Indiana. Yet, farmers prep for planting in the sun before the “colder” temps arrive.

It’s a nice afternoon and one day closer to planting for Jeff Mitzner and his son, Jaye, in Wanatah, Indiana.

“There are some wet spots out in the field,” says Jeff Mitzner, a Wanatah, Indiana farmer. “You can feel it with the sprayer. We are ready to do some burn down now so we’re soon starting to roll.”

Jeff has some extra burndown to do this spring. His son will be home to help, since Jaye’s college classes are now online due to COVID-19.

“With being at school, I would have come home most of the weekends [or] all of the weekends to still come help and stuff,” says Jaye Mitzner. “Now, I’m here all week and have to take short breaks for class, it makes everything a lot simpler. Then again, it’s not that simple.”

“School work has to come first, that’s what we told him,” says Jeff. “Sometimes, I wonder if he’s telling me he has schoolwork instead of doing what I told him to do but he comes out and helps. Since he’s going to be here, might as well utilize him!” 

The two aren’t in too big of a rush to plant. Their planting date is the same it’s been in the past and their rotation is too.

“The way I look at it, if you change one year, then the next year you have to change again,” says Jeff. “I like to stay in the 50-50 [corn and soybean] mix.”

One reason Jeff keeps his composure is that he realizes farmers have to work around the price swings and prices are out of his control.

“If you look at soybeans, you’re not going to make money at $8,” says Jeff. “Corn, you’re not going to make money with corn at $3.20. You might as well plant [a] 50-50 [half corn and half soybean mix] and make money on one and lose money on the other one, I guess.”

One reason the two are fairly relaxed about planting is because this spring is not as wet as last.

“At least it’s not raining every day and we can get something done,” says Jeff.

AgDay Meterologist , Mike Hoffman, says there will be a ‘chillier than normal pattern’ for the next one to potentially 2 weeks in Northern Indiana.

“There will be pockets that will get missed by the different storm systems but it’s still a changing weather pattern with a lot of activity,” says Hoffman.

“If you come see me May 1 and I don’t have a kernel of corn in the ground, this will be a whole new ballgame,” says Jeff.

Until the “colder” temperatures arrive, the Mitzner family is moving along and enjoying in the sun. They are thankful to have nicer days and each other this planting season.


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