I can just imagine that in sheds and shops across the Midwest there are producers just chomping at the bit to get started on this year’s planting season. Warm weather always seems to get at least someone out in the fields ahead of everyone else, either to get a jump on the work, or to be the first.
And while I have seen my share of “recreational tillage” in the spring, this spring will likely go down as one for the record books. Already, we are seeing corn being planted in areas of the Corn Belt where normally the last vestiges of winter are still present.
According to Emerson Nafziger, professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois, “Although there have been some fields planted this early in the past, this is the earliest we have ever had good planting conditions across so much of the state, and it’s certain that we have never before had this many corn acres planted so early.”
It’s a good read if you are thinking about pushing the planting envelope, but here’s the point that I thought was the most interesting: “It probably makes sense to get the fields ready to plant, but to hold off on planting until the calendar turns to April,” said Nafziger. Unless temperatures remain far above normal, the risk of planting now may well outweigh the likely return. But for those who want to be able to say that they planted corn earlier than ever before — and before their neighbors — 2012 is providing the opportunity.
So, are you geared up for planting?