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Farmers Get Jump On Field Work

Last updated on Saturday, March 24, 2012

(UNDATED) - Indiana weather has been so unusual this year that only once in at least the last 117 years was it warmer than the current month of March.

That was in 1946, according to Hoosier Ag Today, a radio/web agriculture service serving the state of Indiana.

The warmer-than-average temperatures is sending Greene County farmers to the fields, plowing, applying chemicals and some are even planting at a very early time of the year.

Many are preparing their field, while waiting for to plant, while others are actually planting.

Farmers depend on ground temperatures, if it's about 50 degrees it's warm enough to plant.

Coleman said Purdue University and seed experts suggest planting during the first week in May is when optimum yields are found.

The weather is allowing for application of anhydrous, oat or pasture seeding.

Planting corn normally happens in April until the middle of May, depending on the weather.

For soybean planting, the ideal time is late April through May for single-crop beans.

Problems happen when farmers were unable to anticipate the early weather and pre-purchased the wrong seed varieties to plant or the wrong pest management strategies.

Advantages are obviously a less concentrated work load, ability to use longer season seed varieties that will start out with greater yield potential. Also, the less concentrated work schedule will reduce errors and make for more timely efficient pesticide applications.

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