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Area farmers ready to go

Andy and Rick Bauman check over their planter near Pontiac / CIFN photo.

DWIGHT – Many farmers across Central Illinois are ready to head to the fields once the weather cooperates.

Matt Boucher, who farms near Dwight and owns Potential Ag, predicts planting is still several days away but that could always change since we live in Illinois. Boucher’s crop rotation is heavy on corn this year.

“It’s just kind of the way things worked out,” Boucher said. “We were looking at prices and doing some planning ahead of time.”

If fields remain soggy, Boucher may back off on corn acreage and switch to more soybeans.

“Right now our biggest concern is how well our wheat is going to come out of this,” Boucher acknowledges. “Where we had snow cover, it was in pretty good shape but where we didn’t, it’s pretty brown.”

Boucher strip tills several of his acres and typically has good luck with the farming practice. He puts cover crops down in the fall before coming back in to make strips through the field.

“We’ve had very good luck with weed suppression and using those cover crops to till the ground where we are not tilling anymore.”

Potential Ag offers corn, soybeans, wheat, cover crops and a new product called Dust which is a graphite and talc replacement for planters. The business also works with drone technology.

Rick and Andy Bauman farm near Pontiac and are hopeful for better weather in the weeks ahead.

“We hope it warms up and stays dry for a while. I hope we can get in by the middle of April,” Rick said.

The Baumans expect to have a fairly even crop rotation this season between corn and soybeans, even if it stays wet for a while.

“I have one field of corn on corn but that’s it,” added Rick.

Andy also runs GHB Seed Service along with business partner Jeremy Haas, selling DeKalb and Asgrow seed in the Pontiac area along with Climate FieldView products. He says balancing seed needs with farming made for an interesting winter.

“This is kind of the busy time of year balancing when we can get on the roads to deliver seed and when we can get equipment ready and moved around,” Andy explained. “There have been issues with germ for beans but for the most part, I think we faired pretty well on it.”

The Baumans will be ready to go once Mother Nature allows since their planter has been field ready since last summer. They recently spent some time washing and greasing it while checking over the tires.

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