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DeKalb County

Ryan Frieders

Ryan Frieders is a second-generation Cropwatcher. Ryan and his father, Ron, grow corn and soybeans on their farm near Waterman.


The fields finally dried out Monday (May 15). We started to plant corn again Tuesday after being out for three full weeks. Wednesday afternoon, the winds picked up and blew for all fury well into the night, and brought another inch of rain to our farm. Planting stopped again. Part of my barn roof blew off, and my old garage is leaning 6 inches to the north, so at least I still have things to work on while I'm out of the field.


This week, we received more than 2 inches of rain on the farm. The fields are saturated, so obviously, no fieldwork is getting done. The first corn planted in the area April 21 began to emerge; hopefully, more will follow. We have been cleaning out our bins and hauling to the river in Ottawa. Fields were barren and flooded the entire trip. I anticipate the soybean market will rally now that we decided to sell the last of our 2016 production. Grass continues to grow and needs attention, so at least I can pretend to drive a tractor. I even need to steer in order to keep a straight line -- I don't have GPS on my mower. All humor aside, I pray for everyone's sake this year's strange weather pattern normalizes and provides us the opportunity to feed the world.


This week has been one most of us on the farm would like to forget. We received more than 4.5 inches of rain accompanied by March-like temperatures. The fields are completely waterlogged, and there are ponds everywhere. Corn that was planted shows little growth, and desperately needs sunshine and heat if it is going to emerge. The only plants doing well are the weeds that have sprung up in barren fields. Planting and fieldwork is at least five to seven days away, pegging the start of corn planting for our area the middle of May. It seems illogical to think this unfortunate turn in the weather will not drastically effect our yields.


We finally had great field conditions Monday (April 24). Those conditions lasted for a mere two days. By late Tuesday night, showers and very cold temperatures returned to the area. There has been very little fieldwork completed so far, and corn planting progress is 5 to 10 percent. I haven't seen any emerged plants. We took advantage of the rain delay by fine-tuning issues with our planter. We have been leaning on our equipment dealer, local precision specialist and a neighbor for help, and truly appreciate all their efforts.