Someone has to be first. That’s the way farmer Steve Pitstick looks at starting the spring planting season.
The northeastern Illinois corn and soybean producer, who lives about 10 miles east of DeKalb, says he has small patches of both corn and soybeans in the ground as his family took advantage of nice weather last week before things turned cold and wet.
“If the calendar was about (April) 20th, we would be going hard,” Pitstick admits.
The early planting tradition started back in the 1970s for the Pitsticks as Steve’s father planted corn in late March to see if it worked. They planted corn for several years before trying beans on March 22 last year.
“We had snow on them, the ground froze down to them and they ended up making 80 bushels.”
Pitstick has converted back to a 50/50 crop rotation as he was heavy on corn during the ethanol boom years. He admits there is always a hope for bumper yields in his area with crop problems somewhere else to drive prices higher.
“We’ll be ready to go as soon as it dries off,” Pitstick adds.