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View from the Cab: Clear as mud

(CIFN photo)

This planting season has literally been clear as mud.

I cannot recall a season where we constantly had to scrape mud from tires and drive across less-than-desirable ground conditions. We have no choice at this point because we need to get the crop in the ground. If it was April, we wouldn’t be out there planting into some of the conditions we have been in recent days.

As a young boy, I loved mud like any American child. I played in it, got it all over my hands and had a blast out in the yard. I liked going muddin’ as a young driver and the challenge of getting something stuck to see if I could get it out. It’s a different story now that I am older and see all of the problems this wet dirt can cause. I have come to the conclusion that mud is the arch enemy of the farmer.

Last week was our first big planting week around here with a string of rainless days and tractors as far as the eye could see. It never fails that mechanical problems arise during a window of opportunity such as this, but that’s part of the job and we keep chugging along. It also feels strange to be working in the field as the kids are already out of school.

Much of our corn is in and we made a good dent in soybean planting last week. Illinois farmers also made nice planting progress with 45 percent of the corn planted for the week ending June 2 and 32 percent emerged. Soybean planting in the state was 21 percent complete with emergence at 13 percent. This compares to 100 percent of the corn planted last year at this time with the five-year average being 98 percent.

We can get countless acres covered in a short amount of time with today’s large equipment. We just need decent weather windows which had been lacking this season until now. The June 5 prevent plant coverage date for corn has come and gone and there is still time for soybeans. I would imagine some growers from Pontiac north may have a cornfield or two that won’t get planted. That ground will either switch to soybeans or stay empty for the remainder of the season.

Many who hadn’t ventured out into the fields yet this year finally had that opportunity in recent days. We knew the weather would straighten out at some point. Let’s hope it stays that way.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)

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