May 3, 2014
By: Jerry Miller

Planters Are Hitting The Ground

In South Dakota, and really across the Midwest from what I can see from my Facebook friends, planters are finally hitting the ground. We actually hit the ground a few weeks ago and got nearly all our corn in the ground before we had about four days of pouring down rain and really chilly temperatures. Well, chilly for this time of year anyway.It isn't just the air temperature that can affect a growing crop, it's also the soil temperature. When you put corn in the ground you really don't want to see the soil temperature fall below 50 degrees. Any seed needs moisture and warm soil temperatures to grow. Hence the power of a greenhouse! Lots of warmth in there! That's also why you see many people start their garden indoors with grow lights on the plants to help give them a bit of a push.The way that I love to explain planting season for farmers is to talk about planting season for gardens. The process is one in the same we are just planting a whole lot more than my "tiny" garden in the backyard.First off, you apply some fertilizer. We let the local Co-Op do that for us. They do a great job and are really nice guys! And slap on my wrist for not snapping a picture. The one time I was in the field that they were in I forgot my phone! I also fertilize my garden, in the past I have used cattle manure (which we also use in our fields) from my heifers, this year I used a fertilizer you just shake on.Just like in your garden we till up our fields with this big guy. My hubby's job typically. My garden is currently tilled and waiting for some tender loving care. Well, and someone to pick up the sticks all over it from our ever shedding willow tree.

And if you are like me you do some spraying before you put your crop in the ground.  I really don't like weeds in my garden, and the guys don't like weeds in their fields. My brother in law spraying.

And then you plant your seed. Which the seeds for my garden are sitting on the counter also waiting to be sorted and mapped out. I am way behind on drawing out my garden this year. Farmers are typically ordering their seed months ahead of time and know exactly how much they need and what fields are getting what seed.

And then you take adorable pictures of your child while you wait for the piece of equipment to get to the end of the field to get their lunch.

Just like in your garden all of our crops have a certain amount of time until harvest. If you look at the back of your seed packets you will see a variety of timelines for your crops to be ready for picking. Without corn the shortest amount days until harvest is 95 days. That puts us hopefully chopping our corn silage at the end of August beginning of September. Right where we want to be!Happy planting season to all my farmers out there across the country! And happy gardening season to all my gardeners. I know I can't wait to get in my garden!

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