Temperatures are actually average or higher than average for a change with chances of reaching near 80 towards the end of the week! It finally feels like spring here, and field work has begun. Soil moistures are favorable for good seedbed preparation, and with the breezy afternoons, most fields will be ready by this weekend.
More than one grower has asked me if it’s too early to plant soybeans. Many growers are considering planting soybeans if those fields are ready to be worked. I tend to agree with their logic of keeping the seeders and planters rolling. Latham Hi-Tech Seeds recommends waiting to plant soybeans until soil temperatures are consistently 55 degrees, and I want to emphasize the importance of seed treatments when planting in these soils.
While most of the snow has disappeared and the weather is moderating somewhat, we’re still a week to 10 days away from the beginning of any field work. The slower snowmelt has resulted in two positive things: (1) Much of the moisture was able to soak into the ground, and (2) Most rivers crested much lower than originally expected, reducing the threat of heavy flooding.
There will be a big rush to get as much done as soon as possible once we finally are able to enter the fields. This push and rush to get crops planted while the sun shines will lead farmers to cut a few corners that could pose a safety risk. Make health and safety your first priority!
Also be mindful there will be much activity on the roads, in farm yards , as well as in and out of the seed and fertilizer complexes. Hurried farmers may try to get just a little too close to some of those wet areas, so remember to think also think about safety when using tow ropes, chains, cables and straps. A broken rope or chain can turn into a missile in the blink of an eye, so think through the extraction process. Taking a little more time to slow do and do things right can save you a lot of “time off”!
In spite of snow, sleet and even a few rain showers this week, the calendar says spring planting is just around the corner! The start of planting season means the start of our weekly “From the Field” crop reports. This photo was taken out my window this morning in Enderlin, North Dakota. Southeast of Bismark, 19” of snow fell overnight closing Interstate 94 throughout North Dakota. I think it’s safe to say North Dakota will not be planting this week. Tune in next week for my report from the decks of Noah’s Ark, that is if it melts by then!