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View from the Cab: Over just like that

Kasen and Kenadee Casson supervise the final day of Casson planting in McLean County.

By: Kent Casson

Just when you think you’ll never get done, the 2023 planting season is almost complete – at least for the first time.

I shouldn’t be negative but one can’t help but wonder what will happen to all of these early planted corn and soybean fields. Many seeds went into the ground in early April when field conditions were alright but temperatures were mighty chilly across the Central Illinois prairie.

Those of us in ag know corn seeds don’t seem to like cold water for their first drink underground while soybeans are more forgiving to the harsh conditions. We normally wouldn’t care about planting in early April but this year was unusually cool. In fact, as of this writing at the end of the month, we have still been experiencing mornings around 30 degrees.

Maybe we will luck out and all of these crops will emerge perfectly during May once Mother Nature decides to actually give us spring weather and we will get the right amount of rain throughout the season. Of course, we have to avoid a killing frost first. They always say after Mother’s Day you are usually safe. At least that’s what Mom used to go by for planting flowers.

The slow crop emergence due to cool soils isn’t all bad as it could keep the plants in the ground longer before they poke through and are prone to frost damage. This is the first time I can recall that all of our crops are in the ground before May 1. Anymore, we can get plenty of acres covered in a day thanks to two planners running constantly in both corn and soybeans.

I recall not too many years ago when Grandpa wouldn’t dare put a soybean in the ground prior to May. We would get the corn wrapped-up only to sometimes take a break for a few days until the first of May came around. Now we are able to get everything in the ground sooner thanks to treatment on the seed which protects it while it sits in the soil.

It may have been cooler than normal during April but the ground worked beautifully and we were planting into great ground conditions. With the sun shining down and the dust flying, it’s hard to stop once you get going with planting each year.

Strong yields could be our friend come fall (fingers crossed!) since the crop prices don’t appear to be doing anything exciting. In fact, they are moving in the wrong direction and it doesn’t look pretty from a farm economic standpoint. We will see if this has any pressure on cash rent rates or land and input values down the road.

I hope everyone has a safe rest of their spring planting season and possibly re-planting season.


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