Planters roll in central Iowa

  • 01

    Dan Bailey, AgVenture seed dealer loads up a south-central Iowa farmer with corn seed. The farmer already planted 60 acres Wednesday morning and was back for more seed to plant the rest of the day. "I'll be planting until the weather stops me," the corn farmer says.

  • 02

    Bailey says his farmer-customers have picked up seed orders nearly twice as fast as previous years. "I gauge the pace of planting season by the turkey season. "For the first time in a long time, I'm so caught up with seed deliveries that I will be able to go turkey hunting on opening day this year. And that is this Saturday," Bailey says."

  • 03

    One of Bailey's customers is Warren County, Iowa farmer Matt McGinnis. On Wednesday, the weather permitted for a fine start to the 2012 corn planting season. At planting time, the air temperature read 43-degrees, with the soil temps even warmer.

  • 04

    With the crop insurance date in his pocket, McGinnis decides to start planting some bottom ground in this 13-acre field. This field located just south of Des Moines about 30 miles will have a seed population around 31,000. "This is a full-season variety. I hope it's out of the ground in a week or so," McGinnis says.

  • 05

    After having already planted a few acres of sweetcorn this week, McGinnis says the field corn is going in the ground nicely too. Here, the southern Iowa farmer checks for seed depth.

  • 06

    McGinnis trusts his planter monitor, but likes to get out of the tractor from time-to-time to check the seed distance. As the tape measures, the seeds should be spaced out around 6-inches. "The technology really is helpful. It allows my fields to achieve that 'picket row fencing' pattern that you like to shoot for," he says.

  • 07

    With the planting situation in-hand, McGinnis follows the guidance of
    his planter monitors for his 16-row planter. "This field is a little
    trickier to plant because it's smaller. But, with a little more 'time in
    the seat', navigating the short rows and turning the rig around gets

  • 08

    Both Bailey and McGinnis say double-stacked corn is all that is needed in the Warren County, Iowa area. "With good rotation, these fields don't see a lot of rootworm problems," Bailey says.

  • 09

    Preparing to plant larger fields than the one he started the day with, McGinnis refills and adjusts the seedboxes on the 16-row planter. He plans to side-dress his fertilizer and even apply one application at pollination, something new for his operation this year.

  • 10

    Perhaps one of the biggest nightmares for Iowa farmers is finding out the planter tire got a flat from a 'dropped' deer antler. As we planted this field, McGinnis noticed the 'drop' and quickly removed it from the field. "It might not appear like it could flatten one of these big tires, but it sure can. They are easy to drive over. In fact, I almost missed seeing this one."

Follow along with farmers as they fire up the corn planters.

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