Planting Season Kicks Off

April 5, 2010 08:13 AM
 
The start of the 2010 planting season has had its ups and downs, already. Some farmers have been in the fields and even planted some of their corn, while others are waiting for some sunshine to dry out their land.
 
"The creeks and streams are running,” says a farmer from Walsh County, N.D. "Lots of water is headed east to the Red River. Field work might start about April 24 on our farm.”
 
Illinois farmers are also dealing with wet weather. "Two-plus inches of rain over the weekend,” says a farmer in Mercer County, Ill. "Fields are completely saturated and ponded, tiles running full. Still have about 50% of NH3 left to apply and right now; conditions are much worse than they were last spring at this time. We did not finish harvest until Feb 3, and several neighbors just finished up two weeks ago. A tough start to 2010.”
 
California has even had some uncooperative weather for crops in 2010.
 
Hay season has begun in our area, says a farmer in Central Valley. "The weather is finally cooperating and we are finishing our Weevil spray and have begun to cut our first fields for hay. We are starting to prepare our corn ground for planting but with the wet, cold weather in the last few weeks we have been delayed. We should have our first corn planted in the next 10-14 days.”
 
The spring planting is going slow for most of the country, but many areas are having good luck with the wheat because of the added moisture and are hoping for more.
 
"We are receiving limited but quite timely rains at this point, as spring planting draws to an end,” says a farmer from Nez Perce County, Idaho. "Soil temps continue to be low and spring crop emergence is almost nil. Too cold to plant peas and lentils still but hoping for a wet April as the winter wheat starts to take off.”
 
A few farmers are saying their spring planting is behind; however there are farmers with planting on schedule or ahead of schedule.
 
"Fields are drying out nicely and getting early field work under way,” says a Phelps County, Neb., farmer. "If it stays like this, planting should be on schedule.”
 
A farmer in Wisconsin is actually ahead of schedule.
 
"Fieldwork has begun,” says a farmer in Jefferson County, Wis. "Sowed oats and alfalfa last few days and top dressed wheat, which along with alfalfa, looks to have overwintered perfect. Warm dry weather forecast will get farmers chiseling what didn't get tilled last fall this week.  Not the earliest we've ever sowed oats but close to it. Fun to be ahead of schedule for once.”
 
March and April in 2010 look to be about as varying as possible with farmers saying they are behind schedule, on schedule, have wet ground, dry ground, great wheat, bad weather for corn planting. With any luck, these mixed blessings will level out for the rest of spring planting.
 

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You can e-mail Rachel Duff at rduff@farmjournal.com.

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