Farmers wait on fields with eyes to the sky

By Gary Brode |

Published 04/15 2014 11:10AM

Updated 04/15 2014 11:14AM

CHAMPAIGN -- A mid-April dip in temperatures means the soil is too cold to plant crops. Now, farmers around the state are playing the waiting game. WCIA-3's Gary Brode finds out how farmers are faring.

Any time you talk about a person's livelihood, there's concern. Farmers aren't too worried, but they are getting antsy.

"There's people anxious."

Farmers, like Paul Berbaum, wait and watch to see when the rain will stop and when they can finally begin planting.

"Two weeks ago, I'd say we weren't going to be late, but now we're going to be late."

The ideal time to plant for farmers is April 20 - May 10, but it's more of a guideline.

"We've seen very good corn crops grow from late May planting."

The last couple of years, farmers planted as early as April 5. Berbaum isn't concerned the corn crop will planted before May 10. He's worried about what happens after.

"It would be nice to have beans planted by then. They claim beans do better when they are planted early. Of course, corn makes the most money, so it's corn we are really worried about and, once the corn's done, then we switch to beans and finish up."

That was the case for many. More and more farmers are now killing two birds with one stone.

"In the next couple of weeks, you may see farmers actually simultaneously planting corn and soybeans because most of them have the technology to do so."

Without better seasonal temperatures, the door stays closed on crop season. About 3% of corn has been planted. Last year was a good year for corn and only 2% had been planted at this point, so, we're still on pace.

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