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Fieldwork pace picking up

Agriculture.com Staff 04/07/2011 @ 10:47am

George Kakasuleff's had a busy last couple of weeks.

His area of Hamilton County, Indiana, has already been a busy place. Weather conditions have been mostly cooperative, allowing him to get into the field and get a lot of fieldwork done. Last Saturday, for example, he was able to get about 600 acres of anhydrous ammonia applied.

"We can cover lots of ground in just a few days," Kakasuleff said earlier this week. And, even after a quarter-inch rain Sunday night and into Monday, he was able to resume work Wednsday, allowing him to wrap up his NH3 applications on all his corn acres except those set aside for seed corn.

 

He's not alone: A lot of farmers are getting started in good time this spring, continuing the trend started with last fall's fieldwork window. "Spring planting has started -- we are planting corn with both planters, spraying and working in places where we ran drainage tile," says Blandinsville, Illinois, farmer Colby Hunt.

"Some planters have started rolling along I-80. Expecting many more over the next week as soil temps rise," adds Mitch Heisler of Geneseo, Illinois.

Still, some farmers like Doug Martin near Mount Pulaski, Illinois, are waiting until soil temperatures warm up a bit more before they get the planters rolling. That's not to say progress hasn't come already, though.

"With the dry conditions and warm weather mother nature has provided us with an excellent start to spring. This past week was extremely busy putting on some anhydrous ammonia, leveling ground, hauling our last bins of corn to the elevator, began a tile project on one of the farms, and making sure everything is ready to go for planting," Martin said earlier this week. "Soil conditions are almost perfect for planting, but we are still a little worried about the soil temperature and the cool forecast. If the forecast for the following week looks good we will probably begin planting this upcoming week."

 


Markets 'going crazy'

Meanwhile, the corn and soybean markets, fueled by last week's USDA prospective plantings and grain stocks reports, are going crazy. Corn prices have surged beyond their all-time highs and are nearing $8.00/bushel, while soybeans are nearing $14. And, these current market trends aren't going away too soon.

"The other variable that will likely come into play is that farmers who are now holding corn or soybeans will likely be even more tight-fisted as summer approaches. The need for an absolutely large crop is paramount for both corn and beans," says Agriculture.com Market Analyst Bryan Doherty. "Soybeans may have the luxury of a significant amount of product coming out of South America, whereas with corn, the world is holding its breath, hoping for a rebound in yield and, therefore, bigger production."

Keep up on the go

So, how do you keep up? Whenever Minnesota farmer Dave Revier takes to the field this spring, it’s certain he’ll have a smart phone in hand. In fact, he’ll have two of them -- one for general use, and another in the cab to help steer his tractor.

Farmers are using smart phones for a wide range of applications. Beyond calling, among the most popular features are texting, Internet access, and camera use, according to the Successful Farming survey.

We know you’re busy doing field work, so we’re giving you access to the latest markets info right in your hand. With m.agriculture.com, find the latest commodity price updates, market analysis, cash grain bids and more all on your mobile device. The mobile site also features the latest ag news, weather, polls and discussion, timely reminders and more. And while you’re at it, sign up for our mobile alerts for customized real-time updates. You’ll receive automated commodity and weather text message alerts or e-mails straight to your mobile device. Stay in the know on the go, with Agriculture.com.


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