Tillage Work Begins on Midwestern Farms

Between the Fencerows

Now if the soils would just warm up!

Published on: April 23, 2014

Last week, we were finally able to get some work done here in northern Indiana. This time of year, we hope to not be spending much time in the office taking care of problems, as that adds stress and frustration to the spring season. It is, however, part of running a business.

We hired a chain saw crew to tackle some overgrown brush, then we rented an excavator so we could repair some ditch banks that were damaged during extreme rains last summer. Several banks gave way to the rushing water, breaking and flooding lower portions of the fields. Some spots had enough soil and sediment in the bottom of the ditch it was holding back an extra two feet of water. What a difference that made!

By the end of the week, it was dry enough to haul chicken litter into some fields and begin spreading. We have continued this week, and hope to get several hundred more acres done before the push into planting when labor will shift to more pressing tasks. With the extended winter weather, everyone in the livestock industry is working in a compressed window to make necessary manure applications.

Related: Stuck in the Mud...and Snow!

Tillage work will begin today. We had a little shower Monday evening leaving us with about a quarter inch. Though we ended the fall in a good place, we left some work unfinished. Hopefully a few good days will get us caught up.

Some in the area have begun planting. We have decided to wait it out. Not a week ago it was 23 degrees one morning. Nice days over the Easter weekend did warm soils, but I'm told soils are still in the 40-degree range just 2 or 3 inches deep. 

I saw the 7-day forecast last night before bed; it shows most of next week with highs only in the mid-50s and lows between 35-45 degrees F.  That's sure not going to help seed get out of the ground and growing!

The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.