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View from the Cab: Hard at it

A view from Kent Casson's tractor cab recently / CIFN photo.

The corn is in the ground, soybean planting has started and now we wait for Mother Nature.

We are anxious to get back into the field after a rainy spell and hopefully we can get the rest of the soybeans in the ground soon. It is a relief to have all of the corn in, especially with the somewhat delayed planting start we experienced in April. Despite all of the panic by some in the industry early on, we have made decent progress in a short amount of time.

One of the most dangerous phrases in the English language can be, "we've never done it that way" but several growers did things a bit different this year as they planted soybeans prior to corn. This was a big no-no years ago, but many believe treated soybean seed responds better to early cool and wet conditions than corn seeds. Are people simply copying each other like a flock of sheep or is there something to it? We shall see what the yields tell us come fall.

Many recall the cool wet spell we had last year which prompted several guys to replant corn in May. The replanted crops actually yielded better than the corn some decided not to replant. This was a unique situation but they say every year is different and I believe it.

One thing I tried different this year was strip-till. For those of you not familiar with the concept, this is where you plant corn directly into a dirt strip created in the field the previous fall. The fertilizer goes right into that strip along with the seed, so you know you aren’t losing as many nutrients as you might normally. You also save on fuel costs by eliminating an extra tillage pass in the spring. I am looking forward to seeing how this field turns out.

We had a little fun on the farm the other day getting the old two-row Case IH corn planter out next to the 24-row John Deere. It’s neat to see how the technology and planting methods have evolved over the years. We are lucky to have air conditioned cabs free of dust nowadays. It wasn’t always that easy.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

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