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Ready to take on 2020

LEXINGTON – Activity is picking up across farm country as growers embark on the 2020 planting season.

Last week was one of the busier weeks David Schuler had in several months as his family caught up on outdoor projects.

“We had some fertilizer we needed to get finished up,” Schuler told The Central Illinois Farm Network. “Along with that, we had a pretty good sized tiling project that we started the year before.”

Schuler, who farms with his dad and brother, normally holds a live pig sale this time of year, but COVID-19 forced the game plan to change as the annual show pig event was moved online. Four other area breeders help Schuler with the sale.

“We quickly got some pictures done and made videos.”

This year’s crop rotation has been a popular topic as of late on the Schuler farm due to uncertain times and everything happening in the world currently.

“Lower oil prices are creating less demand for corn in the ethanol market, but we are seeing some good export numbers picking up on the corn side,” Schuler said.

Schuler is left scratching his head because of the recent soybean market downturn as well.

“As we speak, we are probably going to stick to our 50/50 rotation that we kind of had but keeping an eye on the bean market thinking that would maybe give us a better opportunity,” Schuler added.

The Schulers don’t pay attention to the calendar as much as they do field conditions and the ground was still slightly wet last week. If things turn around and the ground temperature was right, Schuler said they are ready to plant.

Last year presented many challenges ranging from a late spring to late harvest but Schuler feels pretty fortunate about the results in his area.

“For the tough challenge we had throughout the spring, we had decent weather throughout the summer,” Schuler explained. “We still feel pretty dang fortunate to have the year we had and to be able to get some of the work done we did.”

Schuler is completing his first full term on the McLean County Farm Bureau board and has been busy with winter meetings. He spent time in Springfield talking with lobbyists about trade issues.

“Hopefully, we can get back to some more certain times and see the trade effects come through and help farmers out,” he concluded.

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