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Livingston County

Mark Kerber

Mark Kerber and his son raise corn and soybeans near Chatsworth in southeastern Livingston County. Mark is one of our longest serving Cropwatchers.


As fields dried fast, first to come out were the rotary hoes for about two days. Then the cultivators, sprayers and planters were everywhere. Usually, after a long, muddy rain event, one tends to get back into the fields too quickly. Not the case this time with the warm, drying winds. Replant corn is the main event after the pre-Mother’s Day three weeks of cold, wet weather. The major decision is to rip up whole fields or spot in. We elected to spot in with a smaller population. Crop adjusters and seed people have been very busy analyzing fields. Replant seed is moving everywhere around the county. First-time planting of corn is also prevalent. Soybeans are also being planted, especially with those who own two planters.


More wet and cold temperatures slowed plant growth, but warm weather and sunny days are finally starting. Some spotty storms rumbled through last week giving us a total of 2.4 inches. This caused some erosion and ponding. Just to the south and west, it is dry. It’s going to be a late planting season in many parts of our county. Seedling health, poor root development and nitrogen leaching are concerns on corn that is planted.


Very cold, wet weather is the talk among producers. Our area received about 3 inches of rain in the last 10 days. We were considering ourselves very lucky until the last .7 of an inch came with more cold days and nights. Most farmers are concerned about how good our stands will be. Better get the smaller replanters out. Our county is a little behind on corn planting compared to our friends to the south of here. Some believe this is a good thing. Very few soybeans were planted before the rain. I looked up my planting dates, and we finished planting soybeans 16 times in June since 1966. Markets responded only one day to the upside and retreated back down.


Corn planting was progressing well until a cold front brought most of us a gentle rain of .4 to .8 of an inch. It was nice planting corn a few days without looking at the radar. This weekend (April 29-30) will change that as heavy rains are predicted. The ground was finally fit and working nice. Sprayers were prevalent. Producers seem to be planting corn thicker and soybeans thinner. Don’t forget to empty your rain gauge.