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FIELDS OF HOPE: Farmers Look Ahead To Spring Planting

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Spring time sets the tone for farmers’ entire farming season. Dave Struthers has his planting machines washed and ready for duty, hoping to start this year’s planting season off right.

“We never know what each year is going to bring each year is a little bit different.”

Last year, Struthers had a low yield of corn; Mother Nature forced him to plant his crop in June. This year, he's hoping for a different outcome.

“If you can plant in that mid-April time frame if conditions are right generally you`ll have better yields.”

However, everything must be just right in order to get a good yield especially, soil conditions. Struthers says so far his fields are in good condition.

“We marginally better than we were a year ago at this time which we were very dry.”

Mark Licht is an expert on fields and soil at Iowa State University. He says although the fields are looking better than last year, they’re still dry.

“The water won`t drain through the frost layer it’s basically going to sit and stay in a saturated zone there."

Licht says the frost depth continues to thaw and if thawed completely by April, farmers will be in good shape but if the weather dips near freezing again, Struthers may have to keep his planter in storage a little longer.

“It could always get worse but I wouldn`t be doing this year after year if I thought it was going to get worse every year.”

If farmers were to plant their seed prematurely, the soil temperature would be too cold and potentially harm the seed.

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