Tractor in rain Jupiterimages/ThinkstockPhotos

Planting… interrupted

We were just shy of two-thirds done with planting when the rains hit.

Unlike many farmers, we were fortunate to be on the light end of rain here in the Midwest. We received around 1.5 inches so far. It continues to sprinkle every day and up to 3 more inches of rain is projected today and Friday.

Another wrinkle in this spring’s planting season: there hasn’t been much warmth this week. Hopefully these conditions don’t push our planting progress backwards.

If you remember last year, I wrote about chilling injury as seeds imbibe water to begin the germination. I don’t think that will be a problem here. The soil was warm and most fields had nearly 24 hours before the rain started. The rain and temps have gotten cooler, but the seed should have been able to get started. There was some scattered frost Wednesday morning, and more is in the forecast for this weekend. However I haven’t seen any corn big enough to be at risk, and I wouldn’t say soybeans are out of the ground either.

Wind damage
We did get hit with wind damage Saturday night. About of a third of the roof of a 1970’s open face building came off. It appears to have hit at least two grain leg drop pipes, dis-lodging them. It also stuck and dented an overhead hopper bin before being strewn across the field east of my house.

It has been too windy to get the drops taken down and survey any possible damage to the leg or superstructure. Ironically none of the empty totes or seed boxes in the barn lot were blown around. We slept through the entire thing. We turned it over to insurance and are waiting to hear from them.

Once the final tally is taken, we will proceed to have the grain setup repaired. These repairs could rack up expenses in a hurry. We are talking about crane time, possibly taking the hopper down to rebuild it, new drop pipes, bin roof repairs, etc. We just hope the grain leg, distributor, and superstructure were not damaged. The building is nearly 50 years old, constructed with old electric pole posts. We are waiting to get an opinion from a contractor, but expect we will repair that building as well. Most of that expense will be out of pocket because there was little to no insurance value placed on the building. It would be nice to replace this building, as the bay width and height is inadequate for many pieces of equipment, but I don’t think that is in the cards for this year. The grain facilities were completely covered, less the deductible.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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