As of now, the farmers are all getting busy with their own final preparations for spring seeding. However, they are all wondering, “What’s everyone else doing? Is anybody going yet?”
From high atop the agronomy perch here in Mohall, the answer is that there have been a few acres planted, but not very many. This spring has already presented challenges with late April snowstorms, and now, just as things were getting dried out, a bunch of rain in our region is upon us. Here is the most important tip for success:
Stay Positive and Do Not Get Overwhelmed
There are many reasons to stay positive despite all the adversity Mother Nature is bringing. For example, commodity prices are at or near their all-time highs. Even if yields are 2/3rds of the normal, gross income should still be amazing. Also remember, yields can still be good even with planting late. Delayed planting due to wet weather means the subsoil is loaded with water. That means drought in the summer is far less likely to hurt. The biggest challenge in much of the Midwest, especially the western areas, is lack of timely rains. Now that we have good soil moisture in our area, yields should be more consistent.
Obviously, there are plenty of farmers who have not had “fit” ground to work with yet. No one can control the weather, so even if it is tiled ground that is too wet to plant there is nothing you can do at this point. Stay positive, and just know that sooner or later every farmer must deal with weather that is against them. The important thing is to get ready so you can be as efficient as possible when the days finally come to put the crop in the field.
Crop insurance guarantees are excellent, so even if all else fails, this provides a reason to not get yourself discouraged with worrying about the weather.
Action alleviates anxiety. You can have your seed treated, so do it. Treating seed or selecting a seed with the best available seed treatment options is key when planting in cold soils that will stress the plant. If it continues to be a cold and wet spring, odds are that there may be some disease pressure. Do not take a chance on disease issues negatively impacting your crop at the time of planting.
There will be problems with the weather, the grain markets, farm news, and on and on. It is not about what happens to you. It is how you handle it. With everything that pops up, you have the choice to let the situation control you (be emotional, let it stress you out, start taking out your frustrations on others) or you can control the situation (react calmly, give it some thought, make the best decision in light of the circumstance, treat others with respect). It is up to you how you react. Sometimes, it is really challenging to act professional throughout, but that is the job, and we can all do it if we choose to.
Always be thankful you get to live and farm in the greatest country in the world. There is so much negativity in the mainstream and social media on just about everything you can imagine. Never let yourself and your family get bogged down in constant paranoia. The reality is that here, in the United States, we have more safety and security than almost anywhere. Take for instance the situation on the ground in Russia and Ukraine; there are many countries and areas in the world that live in poverty and are controlled by fear. Never forget that most people around the world wake up and must worry about
what to eat, their safety, or other horrible outcomes. That would be scary. Each day here brings new challenges for a farmer, but just put one foot in front of the other and think about business and family.