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Planting roaring by for this farmer
Up until last weekend's storms that rolled through the Corn Belt, Doug Martin hadn't had a decent rain since the first half of March on his farm near Mount Pulaski, Illinois. The dry conditions were far from ideal, but it allowed him to get the majority of his corn crop planted. Check out some snapshots from Martin's spring planting season and drop him a line at his farm's website!
This spring, Martin's again planting corn that includes the required refuge seed. Here's a shot of the hopper loaded up. "All of the purple seeds are refuge seeds that are already mixed in with the non-refuge corn," he says.
"Right or wrong, we are moving along nicely with the 2012 planting season," Martin said on April 5. He expected to be about 1/3 of the way finished planting at that point. "Soil conditions are pretty good but we wouldn't turn down a good soaking rain," he added.
This year, Martin -- a farmer who never shies away from the latest precision technology -- has a cab full of tech tools, including Precision Planting's new FieldView tool that, along with the company's 20/20 SeedSense monitor, utilizes an Apple iPad tablet computer to show and compile field maps.
Another system Martin uses during planting season is bulk seeding. It's not the newest, flashiest tool on the farm, but it works wonders during this, the busiest time of year. "Bulk seed handling is probably one of the best inventions for spring planting. Not only does it save a lot of wear and tear on my back it saves about an hour each time we fill up. We can load 50 bags of corn in less than 10 minutes," he says.
Just a few days after getting started planting earlier this month, Martin's corn emerged quickly. Here's a shot from April 9, when he took advantage of a nice, clear sunrise to capture his corn crop's early growth.
Just last week, dry conditions had Martin pondering a pause to planting until some moisture arrived. "We are still going strong, but we are about to quit for the rest of the week or until it rains. We are about 80% completed with corn planting which is a record for this early in the year," Martin said last week. "The rest of our ground needs a rain before we can plant it. Some of it was spring applied NH3 on March 10 and has not had any rain since then."
Then, over the weekend, that rain Martin needed arrived. "We had about 1.5 inches on all of our farms over a three day period. We couldn't have ordered it any better. We needed it to because we had to quit like a lot of people because we were running out of moisture. Our strip till planted nice but any ground that was worked early was too dry. We are 80% done with corn and should finish up with 4 good days of planting," he says.
Follow along and see what types of tools one Illinois farmer's using to get his crop planted this spring.