Planting season nearly perfect for farmers so far - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Planting season nearly perfect for farmers so far

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TIFFIN (KWWL) - As we move into the heart of planting season for farmers, some say things are almost perfect so far.

Around this time farmers get ready to prepare to put the crop in the ground

"We've had one of the best Marches that we've ever had in my lifetime," said Steve Swenka, a fourth-generation farmer in Tiffin.

Swenka says with March being mostly dry and mild, the conditions made the fields respond sooner than in years past.

He says the mild, dry conditions let him get a lot of  preliminary work done.

"We were able to get a lot of our fertilizers, a lot of our primary tillage done, clean out the barns," said Swenka.  "Kind of a lot of preliminary work that you're not always able to do in March and early April."

He says the last few days of April leading in to early May are critical for the planting season.

Since forecasters say next week's weather looks to be ideal for farmers, he's planning on putting his corn and beans in ground on his 300 acres.

Swenka expects to begin wrapping his planting up by late May, to make sure he's reached the peak of the growing potential.

However, after that it's up to Mother Nature.

The top soil and sub soil will have the perfect amount of moisture, so Swenka says farmers can get their planting done.

Swenka says it's a bit too early to predict the impact the mild March will have on our pockets in the future.

"It's really the heart of planting season. That's really when you want your corn in the ground," said Swenka. "I guess the jury is still out as to how it's going to affect our pockets."

Earlier this year he says farmers were skeptical about March being so dry, but all that changed in the last few weeks with the rainfall we've gotten.

The outlook for this season is also a bit cloudy, Swenka says you can never predict a crop before you plant it.

"Obviously what July and August and what some of those late summer months how intense the heat we get and rainfall during those months have a lot to do with it to," said Swenka. "In all reality what you do is work when you can, hit it hard when you can."

Swenka says typically it takes longer for farmers to get into the fields after severe winters, at least from the snowfall perspective.

However, even with the few cold nights this past winter, Swenka says it was mild and that helps with planting season too.
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