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Growers hopeful for better month

A tractor is shown near mud in a Livingston County field last week / CIFN photo.

DWIGHT – Northeastern Livingston County farmer Jason Bunting would much rather be out planting corn and putting no-till beans in the ground than talking to a reporter about the lateness of the season.

With all of the rain that has fallen in his area during the past several weeks, Bunting has quit keeping track of precipitation totals.

“We would get to be within about a day or day and a half of being able to do something and Mother Nature blesses us with a little more rain,” Bunting told The Central Illinois Farm Network last week.

Very little has been planted in Bunting’s neighborhood, although some growers took advantage of a small weather window toward the end of April.

“That prevent plant date is coming up sooner and sooner and it’s something we’ve never had to deal with before,” Bunting said. “It might have to be an option for us this year.”

It is still business as usual for the Buntings, although they may have to make some important decisions in June. They did switch out later maturing corn for earlier corn.

“We are going to give that a try and see what that does for us.”

Bunting must get a crop into the field somehow because of the cows his family feeds. He has not been able to make hay yet and has customers waiting.

“The good Lord doesn’t give us more than what we can handle but sometimes we question,” he said.

Ricky Bane farms in the Dana area which is also really wet. He did manage to get 120 acres of corn in the ground and 85 acres of beans planted two weeks ago, but everything else was not fit.

“We are super soaked now. It seems like it takes a quarter inch and we’ve got water standing again,” Bane explained.

Bane acknowledges this is a trying year for everyone in agriculture as many are looking at the calendar trying to figure out a final game plan for the season. Bane’s friend is a seed dealer and his phone has been ringing off the hook.

“People are wanting to trade in 114-day hybrids and move to 104 or 106.”

He is concerned that seed supply will run low and growers will have to start taking what they can get.

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