Farmers adapt to wet fields


FAIRBURY – Local farmers are taking a close look at their fields after heavy weekend rain dumped several inches across the area.

Steve Ricketts, who farms near Fairbury in Livingston County, feels fortunate since things could have been much worse.

“We needed a little rain to get this crop going and getting it to come up but our fields didn’t get as much as some people,” Ricketts told The Central Illinois Farm Network on Saturday.

Ricketts just needs one good day to finish up his corn and soybean planting for 2020. This season has been hectic as there have been short weather windows to get the crop in the ground. This means growers like Ricketts have to keep working when they can.

“We didn’t plant anything until April 20,” Ricketts noted. “Stuff seems to be coming reasonably well. I’m sure there’ll be some areas with ponding that may struggle but we’ll just have to take a few more days to figure that out.”

Side-dressing corn and spraying soybeans a bit earlier will be some jobs on Ricketts’ operation once planting is completed. He admits farmers must take it one day at a time.

Ford County Update:

When conditions were fit to plant, the ground worked up really well for Gibson City farmer Roger Reum, who is pretty much done with his corn and soybean planting. So far, his seed is still viable as he has not observed any that rotted in the ground just yet.

“If you get north of where I live, it is wetter,” Reum explained. “And if you get south of Gibson City, it is drier.”

Reum may not be happy with all of the state’s lockdown restrictions, but the farming side of things this spring has gone better on his farm compared to the past couple of seasons.

“We didn’t hardly have any corn or beans planted a year ago now.”

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