Here we are, in the middle of February - with preparation for planting season 2019 well underway. Unfortunately, we are still cutting corn, and hoping to finish within the next couple days. We aren't alone in this venture, as over 10,000 acres of soybeans and 12,000 acres of corn remain in Northern Missouri - a testament to the truly brutal Fall and Winter we have been dealt.
While half of us take on harvest, and close out the 2018 season, the other half of us have started gearing up for Planting. This means replacing broken parts, and performing other up keep duties on our most important tool - our planter. A quality planter puts seed in the ground at perfect uniformity, 2 inches down for corn, and at least 1 inch in the ground for soybeans. Along with this, a planter must be able to close the soil behind the seed, ensuring quality seed-to-soil contact. Planter technology has come a long way in recent years, but even the newest of planters still have break downs and need wrenched on by the end of the year ... covering 3,000 acres takes a toll on heavy machinery!
We have also began negotiations for our inputs - which include seed, chemical, and fertilizer. These costs are extensive, and every year we do our best to limit our investment, while maximizing our yield potential. It's a fine line to gamble on each Spring, and we are hoping for a better growing season this year to push yields past our break-even. Farmers are eternal optimists, always thinking to themselves "This is going to be the year!" ... Well, here's to hoping 2019 is our year!