Planting season delayed, farmers still hopeful

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BOODY, Ill. (WAND) — Jeff Brown calls it his 24th freshman year of farming.

“Every year you learn new things,” he said.

He knows life lesson are grown here in central Illinois. His family has farmed the fields outside of Boody for five generations.

“You get wound up,” Brown said. “You get nervous, but you want to be patient because you can screw up a crop pretty fast.”

Farming is a fickle business. Plant too soon and your crops get frozen in the frost. Plant too late and you won’t get nearly enough return on investment.

“It’s challenging,” Brown said. “You’re dealing with the weather. You’re dealing with global markets.”

This spring has been especially tricky. With snowstorms blanketing fields well into April, farmers had to push back this year’s planting season a few weeks.

“Normally, it’s around April 15,” Brown said. “I always say ‘pay your taxes and go plant corn.’”

But it’s not all bad news.

“The benefit of [the cold weather] is it kills disease and insects,” Brown said. “Now we’re ready for it to warm up so we can get the crop in the ground.”

That’s just the trick — temperature and timing, making sure the soil is just warm enough for the corn to germinate and thrive.

And as long as that corn goes into the ground soon, Brown says this fall’s harvest will be as good as ever.

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