Guest-blogging for us today is Tony McClelland, Case IH Crop Production Specialist for northern Illinois and two-thirds of Missouri. Growing up, McClelland spent his summers working on a farm. He started with Case IH in 1999 in tech support for Case IH Magnum™ and Maxxum® tractors. Before becoming a Crop Production Specialist, McClelland worked in inside sales, High Horsepower tractor marketing, and served as a Tractor Specialist. Read his report and let us know if farmers are getting anxious to plant or rolling full steam ahead in your area.
Farmers in northwest Missouri and central Illinois finally got started planting corn last week, but they got rained out last Thursday and haven’t been able to get back in the fields since. Growers in southwest Missouri usually get started early, but it’s been so wet this year they haven’t even started yet. Other than the northwest corner, there hasn’t been much activity in the rest of Missouri. This week north east Illinois has got a running start on corn planting, from Champaign to Chicago they are running hard.
Because of the delays, no one has even thought about starting to plant beans. That delay could get even worse, because there’s more rain in the forecast for today and tomorrow. In the pockets where planting is running, producers are pushing hard to try to beat those storms.
Although it’s been wet, the weather’s been warm enough that weeds have been getting established in many fields. Many farmers have been using the Case IH True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo to till out the weeds, even in wet soils. They’ve also been using the 330 Turbo to open up the ground so it can air out, allowing it to dry faster. Case IH Patriot® sprayers also have been in the fields, trying to tackle the weeds.
The Case IH Early Riser® planter also has been performing really well in the soft, wet soils with its pulled-gauge wheels. The Early Riser’s row unit also is placing seed in a more ideal seed environment to boost emergence, even in these less-than-ideal conditions.
For many growers, the fact that it’s nearly mid-May and they’re not in the field yet has them worried. There’s an urgency in the air. Some growers with crop insurance are even more concerned, because in some areas, there’s a certain date by which you have to have crops planted in order to receive full coverage, and that date is fast approaching. For example, for a couple farmers in Sedalia, Mo., their crop insurance deadline is May 15, and that’s only a week away. Producers are saying they need to get in the fields, and soon.