View from the Cab: Wheels are turning


Spring planting is in full swing around Central Illinois.

Last week was our first big weather window for fieldwork as there were tractors, planters, field cultivators and sprayers everywhere. In fact, it was hard to spot a field without dust flying in the air. The wheels keep spinning in farm country as we race to get the 2020 corn and soybean crops in the ground.

Many local growers are putting treated soybean seeds in the ground first since they seem to take the cool, wet weather better but some were planting corn in recent days. Those with two tractors and planters are lucky since they can put both crops in at the same time if they have enough manpower.

We know all too well from recent years that our weather windows seem to get shorter so we must take advantage of the nice days while they last. This means working sunrise to sunset with longer hours for some. It gives us a chance to soak in God’s country and enjoy looking out over an open field.

My soybeans went into the ground perfectly last week as field conditions were almost ideal on the no-till ground. We were still finding adequate moisture underneath the soil and the planter was getting through the stalks just fine – unlike last year when wet conditions caused us plenty of headaches.

So far, all of the electronic and mechanical components of the equipment are working properly. I don’t want to jinx our luck by saying this, but it is a relief when everything runs like a well-oiled machine. It would be great to go an entire spring planting season without a breakdown or other issue, but we all know something pops up every now and then. That’s farming.

In addition to all of the farm work, mowing has started. The grass has been green for some time now and I mowed my first farms of the season the other day. It was a tad cool out there but I was dressed for the elements. My stockpiles of allergy medicine seem to help as the sneezing and wheezing season is here. I have always been one to wear a dust mask during April and May. In these times, I may get some extra stares while wearing a face mask when mowing.

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