View from the Cab: Spring or Winter?

March 20, 2017

 

As I write this, I have a hard time believing it is late March as I stare at a blanket of snow covering the ground outside and my daughter is home sick. It feels more like January to me.

 

We had some impressive March snowfall totals in Illinois early last week, according to the National Weather Service. Three inches fell near Pontiac and Ottawa, four inches at Peoria and five inches of snow was measured in northwestern Illinois near the Quad Cities.

 

I don’t know about you but I am ready for warmer days, more consistent weather patterns and spring fieldwork. In less than one month, we could be out there planting corn. Notice I said COULD. A lot must happen between now and then to allow the proper field conditions.

 

Once conditions are fit, we would like to get out there and level off some ground and go around a few field edges with the tractor before planting time rolls around. I would also like to do some work with the loader. It is hard to get motivated on these mornings where temperatures dip into the teens and the gusty winds create an arctic-like environment.

 

I saw a disoriented robin in the yard the other day who didn’t seem to know where he was. This wasn’t the early spring weather he was anticipating for Central Illinois. At least the days are a bit longer now that we moved the clocks ahead an hour. Even though it was chilly last week, it was nice to see brightness until close to 7 p.m.

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel reports precipitation has been widespread so far during March. Prior to the most recent snow event, areas of northern and central Illinois received between a quarter and one inch of precipitation with areas south of Interstate 70 receiving between a half and two inches.

 

The U.S. Drought Monitor introduced moderate drought into parts of western and southwestern Illinois this month.

 

“While it has been dry, there have been no reported impacts on crops, water supplies or river navigation,” said Angel.

 

It was great seeing everyone at the Prairie Central FFA Hog Roast and Auction at the high school in Fairbury last week. Another great auction is in the books thanks to the countless students, teachers and volunteers involved.

 

(The View from the Cab is sponsored each week by Petersen Chevy-Buick along Route 24 in Fairbury)

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