Planting Season Finally Hits
The Entwistle family is finally able to cover some serious ground this week, after weeks of barely getting anything done.
"We've got about 800 acres in," Allen Entwistle said as he watched his son plant corn in a field in Logan County. "We planted some the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of April. It's up, the cold weather turned it yellow, but it looks good, got a good stand."
They were lucky to have any dry ground that early.
"The farms that we've got tiled, pattern tiled, that's really paying off this year, because we're able to get in them a day or two earlier than the other fields," Entwistle said.
Brandt tech agronomist Ed Corrigan has been scouting farmers' fields, as well as these corn and beans planted April 6 at the Brandt research farm.
"It really looks like it made it through that cold, damp conditions very, very well," Corrigan said. "Good, good germination. All the plants seem to be in good shape, both corn and beans."
These little plants seem to have survived a rough few weeks.
"We can still have good yields, but not the optimum top yield," Corrigan said. "You know, any time after May 10 we really start associating a bushel or a bushel-and-a-half per day of yield loss."
This fall's harvest could offer some additional issues as well.
"Probably incur a little bit more of an expense in drying, this fall," Corrigan said. "It just starts to add up a little bit more, the later harvest, and of course the temperatures get cool, so it's harder to dry."
Most farmers won't plant much beans until their corn is in the ground, which could create some challenges.
"As we jump in and get close to June, we need to start really looking at bumping those populations on beans to get more axles," Corrigan said.
Axles are the spots where bean pods form.
"More plants per acre create those," Corrigan said. "Whereas if we plant early, the bean plant grows quite tall, and it has a number of axles."
But after last year's historic drought, most farmers are more than willing to deal with the unique challenges of 2013.
"I know there's guys saying we need it to quit raining," Entwistle said. "But we don't want to shut the faucet off, cause we're gonna need that faucet turned back on in June and July."
Reporting in Sangamon and Logan Counties, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.