Planting crawls; Ag boom busting?

  • 01

    This week's finally seen the planting window open a tiny bit, but progress is still far behind normal levels. And, that's got some farmers looking at other options as planting starts to crawl forward and the focus begins to turn to early-season crop protection.

  • 03

    And, though you may be watching your crop's to-do list grow, don't get sidetracked; experts say despite the need to tackle jobs like applying fertilizer, it's most important to get the seed in the ground first, no matter how long it takes.

  • 04

    As you get rolling this spring, though, make sure you're planting when you have the right window opening. Don't force it if your conditions aren't right, especially when it comes to growing degree days (GDDs). It's a key variable to watch moving forward, crop and weather experts said this week.

  • 05

    Are you catching a theme here? Here's another reason, as difficult as it is, to wait before you try to force anything this spring, including switching planting plans. You may be better off waiting to plant corn than switch to soybeans, as that crop can see an equal or worse yield hit when planted in cool, wet conditions.

  • 06

    Traders in Chicago have a close eye on what's happening around the country, and that's generally got a base built under corn and soybean prices, at least in the short term, says market analyst and trader Scott Shellady. "The crop is not made," he says. "The market's getting a little ahead of itself."

  • 07

    Despite a generally bullish feel to grain prices lately, ag is cyclical and today's relative "boom" period will likely be followed up by a "bust." But, when and how will it happen? Today's circumstances are unique and there are a lot of new variables in play that haven't been in the past. So, what do you think?

  • 08

    The gears of farm policy creation resumed turning in Washington, D.C., this week. It started with an agreement among ag and conservation groups to tie conservation compliance to federal crop insurance programs. But, will farmers continue to participate in conservation programs?

  • 09

    Farm bill markup is slated to begin soon in the ag committees in the House and Senate. There are a lot of programs to tackle and a lot of negotiations to undergo. Though there are a lot of questions entering the process, experts say risk management will be a key theme to the bill. What else will be included?

  • 10

    But if farm policy's not your thing, and you're pacing a trough in the floor waiting to get out and plant corn, check this out:'s now accepting All Around the Farm idea submissions online. So, if you've got a big idea for an invention or improvement on your farm, let us know!

  • 11

    Speaking of big ideas, have you heard of Google Glass? It's a tiny wearable computer, typically worn on a pair of glasses. It has some major implications for the farm. Check out some ways you could make life easier on your farm with this high-tech tool.

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