Even though field conditions were OK by late last week, environmental factors detoured most in our area from planting.
Temps in the high 20s on Thursday and Friday led to concerns of imbibitional chilling injury. I received a notice last week forwarded from Purdue University describing this injury. Damage can occur when soil temperatures become too cold at the seed depth when the seed begins to imbibe water.
With cold kernel cell tissues, they become less elastic and may break.
The bottom line is there is a lot that can go wrong, and the seed is too valuable to take the risk on a large scale. The exact temperature where imbibitional chilling injury can occur is unknown. Some sources cite 50 degrees F at the 4-inch depth level while other say 40 degrees. I only saw one planter move on Friday.
We felt like we should be doing something. So, we decided to spread another 125 acres of chicken litter. Since the last time we hauled, the outbreak of avian flu at a large Iowa farm was announced. We were notified of additional disinfecting measures that are now mandatory each time we enter a chicken farm.
There hasn't been any of the avian flu reported near here, and everybody wants to keep it that way.
The weatherman has cleared us to plant this week. It will likely be dry enough to start on Tuesday. It is nice to get a 'warm-up lap,' however, this year that will not happen. It will be full throttle from the start.
I have been delegated to use the "old" planter to plant some of the smaller, odd-shaped fields where the "big" planter loses productivity. Somehow, I am supposed to do this in between tending the corn and soybean planter and coordinating tillage work.
Oh, and anything I plant with the "old" planter I will also have to spray. Fun times ahead!
The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.