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View from the Cab: Nothin' but blue skies

(CIFN file photo)

The view out here is pretty amazing as I see nothing but blue skies and an open field.

Yes folks, planting season is officially here. Finally. The late season snow and Sunday rains had us worried for a while but now we are off and running. Even though waiting for ideal field conditions can be like watching paint dry, it usually pays off in the end. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates from here on out. Many of us remember what happened to some of the corn last year with the cold and wet conditions early on.

I noticed more and more planters in the field as the week went on with other activities including spraying and working ground. It always amazes me how much Central Illinois farmers can get done in such a short amount of time in both the spring and fall. I have not confirmed those rumors of early planted soybeans during the early season dry spell but I would be interested to know how they are doing.

Much like corn planting, when the neighbors start mowing their yards and ditches, it is time for me to start. I also began this weekly chore the other day. If you give me a pair of radio headphones, shades and some bottled water, I am good to go. Don’t forget the sunscreen either as I tend to burn rather quickly. We didn’t have to cut very much grass for the first half of April but now the green stuff has really taken off. As long as the grass looks healthy and keeps growing, the crops are typically doing well also.

It was a joy to finally see some planting progress here in Illinois. Last week’s USDA crop progress report showed a small percentage of corn in the ground. Look for that number to increase rapidly if the dry conditions continue. Over five percent of winter wheat has headed compared to about 24 percent last year at this time. Almost 50 percent of the winter wheat is reported in good condition with 37 percent fair. You can catch the weekly crop progress report each Monday evening on the Central Illinois Farm Network website. I also share the information on my radio show the following day.

Remember to be on the lookout for farm equipment on the roadways pretty much from dusk until dawn each day for the foreseeable future. Allow a few extra minutes to arrive at your destination in case you encounter a planter and tractor on the road.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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