In Illinois, there are reports of soybeans going in and corn planters being set to run in southern parts of the state. But for the most part, planting is still at a standstill, reports Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist and owner of Crop-Tech, Inc.
What has been done in Illinois fields so far? Anhydrous applications are being made, but they aren’t being done particularly well.
“I’ll be honest; I’ve driven by some train wrecks this week,” Ferrie says. “One applicator was smoking, but it was running shallow.”
In some cases, Ferrie says farmers can go a bit deeper with their anhydrous application when soils are slightly above ideal moisture conditions. According to University of Illinois Extension, an adequate application depth under ideal moisture conditions is approximately 6 inches for fine-textured soils and 8 inches for coarser-textured soils or sandy soils.
The problem this year, Ferrie says, is that fields are just too wet for anhydrous to go on them.
“Get behind the application area and use your nose to see if you got a good seal,” Ferrie says. “If you can smell it a while after the application, you didn’t get a good one.”
Even if you achieved a good seal, Ferrie says you still are at risk of dealing with a lot of soil compaction this year as a result of moving equipment through wet fields.
“There are going to be a lot of wheel tracks and compaction this year, and that’s going to be a big issue,” he says.
Listen here for more of Ferrie’s insights on how you can avoid poor anhydrous applications and minimize compaction issues this spring in this week's Boots in the Field Report Podcast: