Extension expert says farmers can wait to get into fields
April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson
The weather is starting to get warmer, but and Iowa State University extension crops specialist says farmers should not worry about getting into the fields just yet. Joel DeJong says there’s no hurry to get equipment in the fields. “No I don’t think they need to be overly concerned, it’s still reasonably early. We still have frost a couple feet deep. We need to get that frost out first,” DeJong says.
He says they are starting to see some signs that the frost is starting to go out of the ground. DeJong says trying to get into the fields too early could cause added problems, as the frost traps water in the ground. “Until we get that deeper frost out, I’m a little concerned you might be creating some compaction with some of these tilling tools,” DeJong says. He says the rain in the forecast could help draw some of the frost out of the ground.
DeJong has noticed some farmers applying fertilizer. He says he’s mostly seen farmers putting manure on the fields from feed lots, and he says the ground is “kind of passable” for those applications. The Iowa Agriculture Department reports that farmers in south-central Iowa have been able to get in more time in the fields than other parts of the state.