“Full go” for area farmers as weather permits
Area farmers are raring and ready to go to the fields as weather permits, says Jeff Lehman, of Lehman Feed Mill.
Lehman said that considering forecasts, last week proved to be a very good week in preparing soil for planting.
“Early last week, there were forecasts calling for several inches of rain over the week,” said Lehman. “That would have really set us back in our planting. As it turned out, we had between three-fourths and eight-tenths of an inch, a real blessing compared to the original forecast.”
Lehman said that unless an unusual amount of unexpected rain falls, he anticipates that area farmers will take to the fields vigorously this week to plant corn and beans. He estimated that if weather cooperates, 80 percent of the corn could be in the ground within the next week or so.
“The last time I checked, soil temperature was 50 degrees,” continued Lehman. “That’s a little cool for May, but it’s coming along. They’re calling for temperatures in the 70s by Wednesday and maybe even 80 by Thursday. That would help a lot.”
Lehman said it was May 5 last year when serious planting began. One of the biggest problems with the soil currently is that, due to the cloudy and cool days, much of the soil is still cool and kind of damp underneath.
“This is optimum time for planting corn,” noted Lehman. “The big thing is what happens with the weather after we plant. Next week is Mother’s Day. We like to have a majority of the corn in by then.
“With the 16-row planters we have these days, this crop will go in with incredible speed,” observed Lehman.
Lehman expects corn and beans in the local area to go in with a pretty strong 50/50 rotation.
“The wheat acreage may be down a little this year,” Lehman said. “The alfalfa gets a little of its acreage. It’s just been slow; the hay and wheat are growing slow. We need some warm nights.”
One item of interest, said Lehman, is that during the years when the winters have been the coldest, the corn crop the summer following has produced record yields.
“Obviously I can’t say whether or not that will happen this year, but it is something to watch,” said Lehman.
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