PARKER, S.D. (KELO) — As the weather finally warms up, many farmers are now in the field planting or just about to get started.
The machines are ready, the weather is warming up and farmers are itching to get back in the field for this planting season.
While some farmers across KELOLAND have started planting already, Walt Bones and his family are set to get started this week — it’s been a test of patience after the long winter we’ve endured.
“There’s a saying that if you want to plant twice, you have to start early. Well, we don’t need the practice planting. We just want to plant once and be done, so we have to wait for the soil temperature to get up to where those seeds will germinate, and that’s a minimum of 50 degrees. 60 or 70 is probably even better,” Bones said.
Bones says a neighbor checked the soil temperature Sunday morning and found it was only at 45 degrees, but they’re optimistic it’ll warm up to where it needs to be this week.
“The corn, as it grows and it sprouts, the growth point stays kind of below the soil for awhile until that corn plant gets up probably 4-6 inches, so if we did get a frost and it freezes the top inch or two, it’s still going to grow. Soybeans are different. The growth point is right up top, so as soon as that soybean plant comes out of the ground, it is very vulnerable to the frost, and again, we’re kind of on the edge, but the forecast looks like we should be able to roll,” Bones said.
As far as moisture in the soil, Bones says the snow helped some, but they’ll need more.
“There’s not excess water sitting around in these low spots, so yeah, we’re going to need some moisture. We’ll have enough I think to get the crop started, but we’re going to need some to sustain the growth throughout the summer,” Bones said.
They plan to get started planting Monday — about 1-2 weeks later than normal.
“If we’ve done a good enough job in our preventive maintenance so that those machines can keep rolling, again, you give us 10 days, there’s not going to be a whole lot left,” Bones said.