Hometown Farmer: Is Wet Weather Pushing Planting Back?
NEAR HINTON, IA —
"As soon as the weather changes, within a week this shed will be empty of seed corn," said Dave Howe, owner of Dave Howe seeds, as we has pointing out the wooden pallets piled high with bags of corn inside of a shed April 23rd.
Getting rid of those bags is the plan, anyway.
Howe doesn't just farm 3,000 acres near Hinton, he's also a Monsanto seed dealer and this time of year a lot of farmers get anxious.
Instead of seed sitting inside, they'd rather see it going into the ground.
All of the rain and snow that keeps falling all over Siouxland isn't helping.
It might seem like Dave's behind.
He broke a personal record back in 2012, he started planting March 24th.
"We had corn up in rows last year at this time," said Howe. "This year we haven't turned a wheel."
Dave's ready to get those wheels turning even if "Mother Nature" isn't.
He has a new planter this season, it has a variable drive and an electric shutoff system, all to help him be more efficient when he does get out into the fields.
"When you come to the end this will shut the unit off so it'll quit planting seed," said Howe, pointing to one of the pieces of equipment on the planter.
But even though his equipment is sitting and not planting, Dave says he isn't worried, it all evens out in the end.
"For every five days that you're behind in the spring it only adds two days to the fall, so really you don't lose a lot," said Howe. "We can plant and still get a very good yield up until about the third week of May."
He's just hoping things "even out" sooner rather than later.
"I think one year we even planted some corn in June, so we may have the record going the other way this year," said Howe, laughing.
If the weather holds out Dave hopes to be out in the field the first part of May.
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