McPherson, Kan.

I’m writing this on April 29 and we have just received a much-needed rain with more rain forecasted for the rest of the week. We have been in a pocket that has continually missed predicted rains for the last month — if the rains did develop, they skirted around us. We have about 85 percent of our corn planted and were waiting on a rain before we finished planting the last couple of non-irrigated fields. I think most of the corn in the area is in.

There have been a few farmers putting soybeans in the ground, but in this area most guys wait until after the first week of May to start planting beans. The wheat continues to look good if you had a stand. I had a buddy show me a pic where he had a severe sulfur deficiency show up in his wheat on some lighter ground; he did a rescue treatment with ATS and where his sprayer skipped, the wheat was yellow, and where the ATS had been applied, the wheat was dark green. There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about sulfur; we have sulfur in our wheat starter blend, but we haven’t used it on our other crops. I feel like we do see some sulfur deficiency in our corn every year at some point in the growing season, so this year I added some sulfur to my corn starter. It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference in yield.

Our lack of rain combined with high winds and high temps over the last couple weeks led to some less than ideal planting conditions. The no-till ground developed an inch to an inch-and-a-half crust that was as hard as a rock. After running them on a few trial rows last year, this year I outfitted my entire planter with copperhead ag furrow cruisers. Copperheads are a depth limited poly spike closing wheel. They really helped break up the crust and seal the seed slot. I think if I had factory smooth rubber closing wheels, it would have been much more of a challenge. This winter I also put on mag gauge wheels on the rows next to my lift tires on the planter because I was expecting a wet planting season — I missed the mark on that one so far, but if we do get into a wet pattern, I’m ready.

Local cash grain bids: wheat -28, corn -23, soybeans -104, milo -70. — Adam Baldwin