I work with several guys who have 200 or 300 acres who have the crops in the ground. We’ve got 25% of the corn and beans in the ground right now around here. I haven’t heard of anything not growing. I had corn spiking on Saturday that had been in the ground for 10 or 12 days. That was on sandy ground. The guys on sand are getting things in the ground and up. The heavy clay guys haven’t been doing too much.
In some of these areas the ground is either going up or it’s going down. These hills are nice to you when it comes to the showers because they run off. If you give us a day we could run again after the rain this weekend.
There are a pile of acres sprayed in this area. It might not have been really warm but we have been running dry fertilizer hard here too. We have 12 or 14 spreaders and they have all been running and if you want a tender truck load, you had better call a couple of days in advance. They are on the road from daylight until dark. It helps us tremendously when we have these miserable conditions because it spreads things out, but it is hard on the ears when people keep chewing on you to want to know what’s going on.
If we get temperatures up, it won’t take long for the rest of these fields to dry off. I don’t think the frost hurt the oats any from what I could see so far. The cold weather is shortening up the hay. If you have enough nitrogen out there, the grass hay is thick but it is not elongating. The alfalfa is taking a royal beating. At 22 or 23 degrees that is not just a light frost, either. The bugs don’t like this weather so the alfalfa is clean.
This isn’t the first year that it has been this cold. We survived those years. When it warms up everything will take off like wildfire. I had guys ask me last week if they should plant. I said, “Boys, it’s after the fourth of May. It is not going to sit there for more than a week before it warms up. Get it in the ground, it’ll be alright.” Gee I hope it’s alright. If you hear of a lynching on the east side of the state you’ll know it’s not OK.
The weather really hasn’t gotten any better. We had a few days that were close but we haven’t been able to do anything. It has been wet and cold. We did a little light tillage work and then we had 7 tenths of rain. Then it was 28 degrees with frost.
I don’t think the frost was good on our wheat or barley. We have more frost warnings coming and that is probably not good on our hay crop either. Everybody has told me to check after 7 to 10 days after the frost on the wheat and barley.
It has been a very interesting 2 months for the cattle business. We haven’t sold any fat cattle to the local stockyard for going on 9 weeks now. We are hoping we can sell some this week. We have some cattle getting up there around that 1,600- 1700-pound range, which is a little too big. We have sold a lot of freezer beef, probably 30 head in the last month and a half, which has helped keep the feedlot a little thinner.
On the other side, we have been trying to buy feeder cattle to work through our feedlot. In our area, feeder cattle prices have been really strong compared to what is going on with the fat cattle market. That has made it hard to find feeder cattle to buy and get started this spring like we normally do. A lot of guys like to buy feeder cattle and turn them out on grass, but being a guy who buys them and finishes them out, it is tough to look out and see under $1 fat cattle futures clear out into next year. It makes it hard to pay extra premium for feeder cattle right now.
Maybe by Wednesday we might be able to plant beans on some of our ground that may dry out a little quicker. It is supposed to be 31 degrees tonight, though, and that is not helping the ground dry out. Now is not the time to get impatient, but we do need to start getting things going.
We finished planting soybeans on May 5 and wrapped up corn on May 6. Everything went in really nice. We could use a rain. We were expecting a good rain last night but we just got a little shower yesterday evening. We could use an inch but we got about tenth.
We had a lot of ground that had been tilled and never got a rain on it. And we have had wind too. The little rain we have had I think is sufficient so far and there is more rain forecasted for later this week, so I am not overly concerned yet.
I had a low of 28 on Friday night and it was below freezing for over 6 hours. We don’t have a whole lot of crops up yet. We are doing some scouting later this morning to look for damage from the frost and there are frost warnings for tonight and again tomorrow night. We are under 10% of the crop emerged. Our beans have been slow coming up because we planted them deep. If you brush the ground they are right there ready to leaf out. A lot of our first planted corn fields have just spiked through.
Today we are tackling cleaning up equipment we know we are done with. As soon as I can row the corn fields I am going to start spraying a pre-emerge. The forecast looks really encouraging once we get through the middle of this week. We need some heat to get the crops out of the ground and growing.
We were running pretty hard last week. It has been cold and dry. We were hesitant to plant a whole lot, but conditions were good and it will warm up eventually. We didn’t think we could afford to wait, so we have been getting after it. We got 2 tenths last night and other than that we have just gotten hundredths. It has not been enough to slow us down very long and with the wind it has dried up pretty quickly.
It does sound like it will warm up later this week and we’ll get a little rain along with that. Pretty much everywhere you look around here in Shelby and Auglaize counties the dust has been flying. Everybody is out getting after it. We are about a third of the way through corn and soybeans after almost a week of running. I don’t think we’ll be able to go right away but it has been windy and that dries it out a lot even though it has been cool.
We try to plant corn and beans at the same time. We have had three planters rolling and three pieces of tillage equipment in front of them. We do a pass with the field cultivator in front of the corn planter. We use a minimum tillage tool before we plant beans.
On about half of our corn acres we put ESN on up front with some urea and some AMS and the other 50% we put a mix of urea and AMS and then we’ll come back and sidedress those acres with 28%. The weeds are not big yet, but the burndown has also been slow to work and hopefully that residual will still be out there when it warms up.
We are excited to hear about the governor moving things forward. Hopefully we’ll have some sense of normalcy here before too long.