View from the Cab: God's Country
By: Kent Casson
Is there a better view than the one from a tractor window?
I think not – especially this time of year when we’ve been cooped up all winter just waiting to get back out into God’s Country. That would be the corn and soybean fields of Central Illinois in case you didn’t know.
My first day out in the field was an enjoyable one last Tuesday. The sun was shining, skies were blue, dust was flying and all was good in my world. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly turned dirt in the springtime. We have been busy preparing the seed beds for planting which will happen any day now.
More farmers seem to be heading to the fields each day. I have only seen a few actually planting crops but that will change as April rolls on. When the middle of the month arrives, I wouldn’t doubt we see a farmer in every field putting corn and soybeans in the ground thanks to higher crop prices and advice from the experts on planting beans in a timely manner.
Numerous sprayers were out and about last week trying to stay ahead of weeds for the season. Many soybean fields have had issues in recent years so we will all try to stay on top of the situation this year. My bean walking days are over so these chemicals have to work or I’m sending the kids out.
With the arrival of April, we received the very first weekly crop progress report of the season last week which really didn’t show any planting progress in the state but did give us a snapshot of wheat conditions and the precipitation status.
Winter wheat headed here in Illinois reached two percent, up a percentage point over the five-year average. Wheat condition was four percent very poor, five percent poor, 17 percent fair, 61 percent good and 13 percent excellent. Precipitation for the previous week averaged only 0.04 inches, 0.84 inches below normal.
Topsoil moisture was more than 70 percent adequate with subsoil moisture at 79 percent adequate. This alleviates drought concerns we had during the winter as the soils are starting to get replenished in time for another growing season.