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View from the Cab: Anticipating spring

By Kent Casson

This is a time of anticipation for those involved in the farming community.

As the grass turns green and dust starts to fly above the farm fields of Central Illinois, we think of the brand-new growing season and all of the hope that goes with it. We remain optimistic that crop prices will rebound and that we will see decent yields come harvest.

While there are many unknows at this point in the year, we do know corn and soybeans will be popping out of the ground at some point. Whether that’s sooner or later remains to be seen but we know it is going to happen. An old timer once told me about planting, “we always get it done.” He’s got a point there.

With the blooming flowers and budding trees comes new hope. Farmers are full of hope as we put new seeds in the ground each spring not knowing what exactly will happen. Will these crops make it out of the ground?  Will it turn too cold or will a storm impact the area? All questions we don’t have the answers to, but we do it anyway.

I have always enjoyed this time of year ever since I was a little kid growing up on the farm. Perhaps it was the smell of dirt freshly turned in the field, the warmer days or being able to ride in the tractor after a long winter stuck inside. I always looked forward to the day when Dad and Grandpa were planting outside of our house at our “home field” so I could just walk outside and climb in the cab.

Spring was always special growing up because we didn’t need to wear a coat outside anymore and shorts were the norm. Days were much longer, allowing for more time to play outside. This included endless bike riding and fishing trips to our family pond.

The season is here so let’s enjoy every minute of it. Capture that beautiful sunset on camera or pack the entire family into the cab of the tractor. What the heck, eat your favorite junk food in the cab of the tractor. You only live once.

Ahead of the most recent rain, field activity was picking up across the area with some growers working ground and even planting a few soybeans in certain locations. Believe it or not, one percent of corn and one percent of soybeans have been planted in Illinois as of last week’s Crop Progress and Condition report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The Illinois winter wheat condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 53 percent good and 11 percent excellent.


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