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View from the Cab: The time is here

A tractor and drill drive by Kent's house last week.

By: Kent Casson

Spring is suddenly upon us.

The birds are singing, temperatures have warmed, thunderstorms are brewing across the Midwest and winds are howling every day. This means planting season is very close in Central Illinois.

It almost seems we have no in-between anymore as we go from winter to summer within a day or two. Soil temperatures are on the rise which means area farmers are considering heading out to the field to put corn and soybeans in the ground. The calendar says it is almost time.

Though we are tempted to go right out there on the first warm and sunny day, farmers must use patience as we need just the right soil conditions or we could jeopardize yields in the fall. Planting into wet conditions can be a disaster later on, especially for corn. Soybeans appear to be more forgiving which is why many agronomists encourage bean planting before corn even.

We still need to make a few adjustments to equipment before we are ready to venture out to the field. This is the month where I crawl across the ground to check tires and make planter adjustments to make sure everything is in working order before venturing out. My 40-year-old back usually feels this a day or two later. Software updates are underway in the tractor cab as we get the monitors prepped before plugging in the iPads and other forms of technology.

I need to think of good sack lunch ideas for the coming weeks. Do I stick with a ham and cheese sandwich or go with a hot entrée? My wife got me a container for my birthday that keeps things warm if you plug it in to the outlet in the tractor cab. This could be my chance to enjoy casseroles and other hot dishes during the day.

I have stocked-up on caffeine as I run on that each spring and fall. The coffee can is full and our pop supply is good as Pepsi will be my go-to drink for a while. You can’t go wrong with leftover Easter candy, either. An afternoon sugar fix is the best!

The kids seem to be excited about another farming season. They just realized the other day that April is here and that means Dad will be in the field soon. I see plenty of after school and weekend tractor rides in our future. My little farm helpers aren’t so little anymore as they will be helping on the farm in no time.

Let’s all stay safe out there for planting time and the entire year. Watch out for big equipment on roads and farmers should be mindful of motorists as well. Coming soon in a future article…my annual farm safety rant.


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