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Season an 'eye-opener' so far

Dean Atkins shown by his applicator last week in a field east of Bloomington-Normal / CIFN photo.

CHENOA – The past two farming seasons have been a tough go for many growers but one area farmer feels what we are getting out in the field is better than we deserve.

Dean Atkins, who farms in McLean and Livingston counties, has observed a few late-emerged plants and uneven stands, but feels things aren’t bad overall despite the recent dryness.

“There was a rough start during planting with really wet and cold conditions, but it looks better than it should,” Atkins told The Central Illinois Farm Network last week.

The corn and soybeans of several years ago likely wouldn’t have made it through the adverse conditions we experienced earlier in the season with cold temperatures and wet weather. Atkins attributes the success to new varieties of seed and treatments available these days.

“This season has been kind of an eye-opener.”

It seems farmers roll from one job to the next. Atkins has been busy applying nitrogen to corn fields with a product called Y-Drop which allows for later in-season applications. Atkins feels this is a good method since it gives farmers extra time to help the corn.

“It gives us a little bit of an idea of how much nitrogen we really need to put on,” Atkins said.

There were some heavy rains since that first dose of nitrogen was applied at planting time earlier this spring, meaning some of it could have been lost. Depending on each field’s scenario, Y-drops allow growers to make the decision to add extra gallons or cut back.

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