Warm Weather Gets Farmers into Fields

Ag officials say a warm and dry day like Thursday is a perfect day for pre-plant farm work.

"We have a certain amount of stuff that we have to get on the field before you can plant, and fewer farmers with more acres to cover," says Ray Stander, Office Manager for Aurora Cooperative in Grand Island.

Stander says restrictions on when certain fertilizers can be applied mean that good days to be in the field can be few and far between. He says pre-plant work like fertilizing has to be done before producers can even consider putting seed in the ground.

"It's time, you can get in, you have limited days, you take advantage," says Stander. "You make hay when the sun shines."

Still, officials say that if the weather stays fair there can be a temptation to plant earlier than usual. With this week's warm weather it's hard to believe, but producers who plant early run the risk of losing their crop to things like an unexpected freeze, and that could have an impact on their crop insurance.

"April 10th is the initial planting date for corn in most of the counties in this area," says Tom Babel, Crop Insurance Agent at Babel Agency in Wood River. "If a farmer would plant prior to April 10 they would waive the ability to receive a replant payment."

Babel says those producers would still have insurance, but if their policies require a replant a soybean farmer who planted before April 25th could miss out on about $38 an acre in replant payment.

"They'd be waiving approximately $45 an acre payment for corn," says Babel.

Officials say that with the mild winter most of Nebraska had many producers are already ahead, but that doesn't mean they'll be planting sooner.

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