The 2022 planting season got off to a bit of a slow start with cold temperatures and wet conditions stretching into April, but planting is now in full swing for local farmers as warm days last week set the stage for the land for productivity.
Decker Mann, along with his father, uncle, cousin and two brothers, operates a corn and soybean farm just north of Marshalltown, and they began planting soybeans on April 19 despite the cooler weather.
In 2021, Mann said they started on April 11, a full week earlier, but the weather continued to be uncooperative. Intermittent rain and cold temperatures made starting difficult.
“It just seemed like we could never really start a groove. We were working for half a day and it was raining, then it was raining the whole next day, and the third day you were leaving and it was raining,” Mann said. “The last part of April and the first days of May, it was quite intermittent and slow.”
Even with the slowdowns, Mann said they weren’t too worried. Friday was the fifth day they worked all day non-stop, and he said they couldn’t have asked for better planting conditions last week.
“Last year I think we were done with everything, I think, on May 3. So you can say we’re a week behind, but I’d almost say last year we were a week late. forward,” Mann said. .
Mann also said there is more moisture in the ground this year than in 2021, and he believes this will help crops throughout the season unless there is no rainfall. summer.
“Looking at things right now and the planting conditions, I think we will have a good year. We’re not really worried about the date because it’s been hot, it’s been hot and things are happening really fast,” he said.
Mann estimated Marshall County farmers would likely be done planting by next week or so, and he felt they were in a pretty good position with the weather forecast ahead.
Paul Veren also grows corn and soybeans in Marshall County, and similarly to Mann, the last planting season wasn’t really about him. He doesn’t think they’ve lost any output yet, but what’s worrying is the rising costs of the supplies needed.
Fertilizers, necessary chemicals and diesel for farm equipment have all increased significantly this season, and farmers are feeling the pinch.
“It looks like there’s no rush on the five-dollar diesel fuel,” Veren said. “Everyone thinks we need to go green, electric, everyone’s going to drive electric cars, and that’s going to solve our problems, but we’re always going to buy diesel fuel. Those tractors will never be electric.
In addition to high diesel costs, Veren said the cost of anhydrous ammonia has tripled since last year’s application. Last year it cost him $500 to apply it to his crops, but this year the cost has risen to $1,500.
“A lot of things we deal with have doubled or tripled in price,” Veren said. “They’re talking about eight percent inflation. Virtually nothing I trade has gone up eight percent or less, everything has been more. This inflation has been wild.
Steve Anderson, who farms in northern Marshall County, northwest Tama and southern Grundy, also felt the cost of cultivation was the hardest part of spring planting.
“Labour, fuel, fertilizer, seeds, chemicals, everything is — oh man — increased exponentially,” Anderson said. “When I paid the fertilizer bill from the fall fertilizer application, I spent more on it than on all of the previous year’s crop on all expenses.”
Even with inflation and subsequent plantings, Anderson still had a positive outlook for the 2022 crop, as this year’s temperatures look more conducive to crop growth. May 2021 was quite cold and Anderson said the crops didn’t make much progress during the month.
“Given that we are planting maybe a week and a half, two weeks later than a year ago, we have the capacity with this heat that we have right now to probably catch up to exactly where we were a year ago in crop development,” he said.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.