On a nice, but windy, day in Tippecanoe County Tuesday, farmer Brent Bible was thinking about putting some soybeans in the ground. Then he looked at the forecast and told us it was probably a good thing we were out on his Romney farm visiting with him to keep him from making that move.
“When I look at the calendar today versus 2021, we had a couple hundred acres of soybeans in the ground already. We had 200 or 300 acres of corn in the ground by this time last year. So, we’re certainly getting a little bit anxious. We’re ready to go, we’ve got our equipment ready, we’re waiting for the field conditions to get right.”
While it has been a slow start for many Indiana farmers, Bible says we’re a long way away from calling it a “late spring”. When I asked him when we could start calling it that, he said it was a tough question to answer.
“If you look back three years ago to 2019, that was a very late year. We had a very wet and very cool spring, and we didn’t get a lot of crop planted until after Memorial Day. And usually, you would think about that being a late time, but we had very good yields in 2019. So, I don’t know that you really know the answer to whether you’re late or not until the year is over with.”
One thing that is encouraging to Bible is what they learned during that 2019 season and others.
“Hybrids are resilient. Varieties are resilient. They allow us to plant outside of what we might have thought of in the past as our only window or our optimum window. We’ve got a lot of opportunities that still will present themselves.”
Bible urges his fellow farmers to not stress about the timing this season, because one thing is for sure: conditions will become fit at some point and crops will get in the ground. They always do. It might just be a little bit later than what you’d like this year.