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View from the Cab: It's coming


By: Kent Casson


We will soon be planting the seeds to success.


While the 2022 spring planting season is knocking on our door, it sure hasn’t felt like spring around here. The cold, blustery winds and excessive rains make me think we are in late November, not early April. For those wanting to get out and do fieldwork, it looks like there could be a glimmer of hope as long-term forecasts are calling for a warming trend later in the month.


The few 60-degree days we did have in the past few weeks sure felt great. Many farmers took advantage of the rare mild days to do a few things outside and open up those shed doors to continue preparations for the season. I just heard where we experienced one of the coldest late March periods on record.


April is always an exciting time from the agricultural media front as not only do I get to take pictures of tractors out in the field, but I also have the chance to talk with local farmers each week for our field updates on the Central Illinois Farm Network all throughout the growing season. We will talk to growers throughout the Livingston, McLean and Ford county areas all the way through October. You can hear these interviews each Tuesday morning.


Weekly crop progress reports from the National Agricultural Statistics Service are also just around the corner – where we get a snapshot of field conditions every Monday afternoon through the fall. USDA surveys farmers each week to check on planting and harvest progress, crop conditions and crop maturity.


USDA-NASS issues monthly crop progress updates during the winter months, mainly for the winter wheat crop. Soil moisture is also included in these monthly updates.


The latest information for March showed an average temperature of 42.5 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged 2.90 inches, 0.31 inches above normal for the month. Topsoil moisture supply was rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was 5 percent very short, 7 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus.


Winter wheat during March was rated 7 percent very poor in Illinois, 15 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 36 percent good and 23 percent excellent. It has been great to see all of the green out in those wheat fields lately, filling us with warm thoughts and reminding us better weather days are ahead.

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