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View from the Cab: That happy feeling

A local farmer works ground last week in Livingston County / CIFN photo.

It is hard to explain that feeling when you first see farmers out in the field for the season.

This sight always gets me excited and pumped-up for spring planting. While I see so many others kicking up dust, I feel we need to be out there as well. However, many agronomists are urging patience this spring so we don’t rush into things and create more damage to a field than necessary.

While driving across the countryside last week, I was surprised there weren’t more planters out. I counted one planter in a 15-mile stretch of McLean County and it was parked on Tuesday morning. I also observed a field of yet-to-be-harvested soybeans during that same ride in the pickup truck. The beans weren’t standing well by this point but they were still out there. This shows the diversity we face in agriculture as another year begins.

I can’t help but wonder what 2019 will bring. Will corn and soybean yields hold up to previous seasons or will they take a hit due to a delayed start? Some feel soybeans have the best potential if they are planted early in a season and corn seems to remain successful even if planted in May, as long as there is favorable weather during the summer months. In fact, the experts say you can still plant full-season varieties until late May before changing plans.

I am torn on whether we need to be out there planting corn or soybeans right now. At this point, something in the ground is better than nothing I guess. Area ag retailers are relieved they were finally able to get out to the fields last week to catch up on much needed work, such as fertilizer and herbicide applications. They, like the rest of us, were getting a tad nervous at all of the rain systems impacting Central Illinois.

Even though planting season hasn’t gone full throttle yet, we always find something to do around the farm. I spent an entire day last week mowing roadsides and farmsteads, including my own. The mower got a workout and I did too – as there were sticks in various places. I can’t recall a time when the grass was so lush green like a golf course. That could always change in a couple of months if we get a dry summer.

Time spent on the mower gives me the chance to catch up on my radio listening and nature enjoyment. Once I shut the mower off and loaded it onto the trailer, I had to pause for a few moments to hear the birds and the stillness of rural America.

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

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