Planting Progress 5/25/19

Memorial Day is a traditional goal for completion of planting. Not only is this a harbinger of good yields, a guilt free three day weekend to reflect and recover from another rock picking, fertilizer applying, crop planting blitzkrieg is a great way to kick off summer.

They say no one bats a thousand, (what do they know?) but lacking evidence to the contrary, I will borrow that euphemism to be at peace with our lack of progress.

As of 5/24/19, 100% of corn, 70% of beans and 86% of total acres are planted.

Despite being behind our normal pace, we are well ahead of the national average. We were lucky enough to have a couple 4-5 day windows suitable for field work. There are many locations that have not had a single day to work all month.

In addition to having the opportunity to work in the field, we made the best use of those moments. Every operation set new benchmarks for daily productivity.

The rock crew, led by Alex, juggled skid loader breakdowns and erratic forecasts to cover more acres and harvest more loads of rock than ever. For the first time in 4 years, I never had to assist with a “stuck rock wagon” extraction. This alone can be a half day ordeal.

Ben’s agronomy team stayed comfortably ahead, or behind, depending on the product label timing, but always within tolerance for best application results. This crew earned the “Drama Avoidance” prize for their no non sense, low maintenance, dawn to dusk consistency.

Jim was lucky to have the most experienced and capable Tillage Team in recent memory. With as many as five machines running simultaneously and several going round the clock, we met the goal of staying a day ahead of the planters while meeting specific seed bed preparation standards.

The planting crew of Bert, Donavan, and Andy showed what is possible when technology, operator skill, and thoughtful planning collude to maximize output. They averaged 10-15% more acres per day than our previous best.

High speed planters have been around a few years but I was skeptical of their claimed capabilities.

Skepticism obliterated.

Having put this challenging season in perspective, we can still appreciate the present this Memorial Day.

Like the inspirational message on the rustic wood, wall art sign I purchased for Linda for Mother’s Day says, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”