According to the Illinois Dept. of Ag's most recent crop progress report (released May 5), we have 5% of our corn in the ground.
Needless to say, we're way behind, even compared to last year. This week in 2008, we had 25% of our corn planted. While that's causing a lot of headaches across the Land of Lincoln, some folks are employing lessons they learned last spring.
I spoke to a Central Illinois farmer last week who said the weather broke briefly a couple weeks ago. He was able to get about 50 acres planted. He could have done more, but not after what happened last year.
In April 2008, the same farmer saw a break in weather and began running full bore. He was able to get 1,200 acres planted before the rain started to fall again. Unfortunately for him, all 1,200 had to be replanted. Water saturated the soil long enough to rot the seeds. Thus, this year he backed off and only did a 50-acre test run.
I think we also learned a lesson in how important the growing season is. Last year, U of I's Emerson Nafziger said a near-perfect summer was responsible for our respectable yields.
Bottom line is, even though things are once again delayed, we've seen these conditions before. Anyone who has played baseball knows it's a lot easier to face a tough pitcher the second time around. Of course, that's assuming you got to see all his stuff during the first at bat.
How many folks out there are going about planting season a little differently based on what they saw last year?
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