As the days get longer marking the arrival of spring, the farming focus is on planning the year ahead, beginning with planting beginning in April. Trent’s immediate decisions concern crop insurance. Big changes in the crop insurance landscape this year require careful study of the various programs and options ahead of the March 15 signup deadline.
Although the price of anhydrous ammonia has declined due to the surplus of natural gas resulting from the unusually mild winter, Trent will be using liquid fertilizer, because he has already bought and paid for it to assure his supply at the best price.
Trent has been doing some disc cultivation to destroy winter annuals which have germinated due to the unusually warm winter. The spring tillage is expected to go well, because the dry fall minimized soil compaction from the harvest equipment.
All of Trent’s seed is ordered. Because of difficult conditions for seed production in the midwestern US, his seed is not yet all delivered. Some of it will come from winter production in South America and Hawaii. He expects it all to be delivered in plenty of time for planting. Market predictions of increased corn acreage this year have pushed operators who didn’t order early, like Trent did, to accept second-choice varieties.
Right now (mid-March) Trent is hauling grain, working on equipment, and cleaning up brush from wind-damaged trees.