This week’s planting report comes from C.J. Parker, the Case IH crop production sales specialist covering Michigan, northwest Ohio and the northern half of Indiana. C.J. grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Dwight Ill., about 80 miles south of Chicago. His dad, uncle and cousin still operate the farm. At Case IH for just over a year, C.J. spent the previous five years as a seed production agronomist.
In northwest Ohio, most guys started planting the first part of April – two to three weeks earlier than normal. The majority of growers are done with corn. It’s emerging nicely, it’s mostly at the V1 stage, and the stands look pretty good. It was mostly dry during early planting, because we didn’t have much snow last winter or much frost in the soil. But we caught some nicely timed rains the last couple of weeks, and the heat has brought the crop along nicely. For the last 10 days or so, they’ve been dodging raindrops and planting soybeans.
In the northern half of Indiana, most producers are done planting corn and are finishing up with soybeans. Corn is anywhere from V1 to V2. There was a slight frost issue with the really early planted corn that went in the ground late March. But most of the corn was planted in the first and second week of April. They’re still working to finish up corn around the northwest corner of the state, around Lake Michigan.
In Michigan, sugar beet planting is done, and it went really well. We got sugar beets in one to two weeks early. The crop is up and for the growers who used the Early Riser® planter, the stands are beautiful. I’m getting more and more interest from sugar beet growers all the time. I had a dealer do a side-by-side test plot with the Early Riser and a competitive planter in sugar beets, and the Early Riser showed three days earlier emergence compared to the competition.
We’re seeing the same thing in corn. We have a demo planter out with a farmer, and in most cases he’s seeing corn out of the ground two to three days earlier, and in some cases, three to four days earlier.
In Michigan, they’re finishing up regular corn, and starting soybean planting. Seed corn planting also got underway the first week in May.
Equipment-wise, the True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo really showed its advantages this spring. It breaks up residue and incorporates it into the soil, which allows that soil to heat up faster, and leads to quicker, more even emergence. The Tiger-Mate® 200 Field Cultivator is also a hit. Its split-the-middle sweep pattern and shank design really helps residue flow through that machine.
The oddest thing we’ve been dealing with is all the early planting, but our Jump Start meetings greatly helped our customers be ready to get in the fields early. In the meetings, we bring in the new Case IH planter owners and show them how to operate the planter, basic maintenance, and how to use the Pro 600 and Pro 700 monitors.
Did you attend a Jump Start meeting this spring? If so, what’d you think of it?