Are You Ready For Spring?

March 22, 2021

Kristin Lawson, Communications Coordinator & Steve Miller, Seed Specialist

With temperatures in the 60’s the last few days in Indiana, I can’t help but think about spring! The first day of spring was on Saturday, planting will begin soon.

When thinking about spring, you might feel overwhelmed with all that’s on your “to do list”. Taking this time to prepare for planting will help set yourself up for another successful season. No matter how much land you farm, what seed you plant, or where you live, preparing for spring planting is important!

Our Seed Specialist from Tennessee, Steve Miller, shared his tips on getting ready for spring:

Currently, our soils are very wet and cold. Although we have had some warm, spring (planting) weather, it is still early!

A lot of time, preparing for planting involves “hurry up and wait”. However, it is never too early to get ready. First, and most important, is planter maintenance. Your planter should be the most reliable piece of equipment on your farm – that does not mean it has to be the newest! Also, get your chemicals and seed in your shop, so you are ready to go at any time.

Hopefully you already have your soil test results back by now. November (fall) is the best time to get them. Just remember, the more soil in the sample, the better the results. I personally recommend sampling along soil maps of each field over a grid, or one sample, one field. Although, whatever way you do your sampling is better than just a guess.

When field conditions allow, we can start applying P and K, just keep in mind our P does contain 18% N. It does not hang around forever!

Think about side dressing N on corn – research says that V3 is the best time. I highly recommend an N stabilizer; leaching is a huge problem. My #1 tip on corn is to plant 2-2.5 inches deep – somewhere in this range, not some 2 inches and some 2.5 inches. All of your corn should be planted at the same depth.

Slow down! Your meters or air system maybe rate at 5 MPH however, even planting depth trumps seed spacing every year. Most field conditions I see, 3.5-4 MPH is fast enough. Just remember, the person driving the planter tractor, that is a $1,000/hour job!

 

Have a safe and productive spring!

Steve Miller