Regional Tiling & Planting Reports
Wet conditions are amplifying the Drainage Rush! Here is a snapshot of #tile19 and planting progress throughout the region.
Steve Johnson, 217-430-2951
All producers in Illinois are experiencing weather related challenges that started back during harvest. A wet harvest led into a long, hard winter and a historically wet spring that has created significant challenges in regards to being able to get across acres.
Tillage and planting are well behind schedule with more rain on the way. Pattern tiled acres are shining already this year as they are the only acres that have been planted so far, and more and more growers are realizing the necessity of tile in today’s weather patterns and commodity market. Contractors are already starting to book jobs into the spring of next year!
IOWA & NEBRASKA
Tyler Edge, 217-440-5295
We have had major flooding in Iowa and Nebraska. The Mississippi River and Missouri River have both been out of their banks this spring due to major rains throughout the upper Midwest. Portions of southern Iowa and southern Nebraska have been able to get some planting done but if you look at the northern regions in those states there has been minimal planting done.
Tile work is getting done but it is in spurts between the rains. There is a lot of work out there to be done, some is getting pushed to the fall, but I am hearing from many that they will be installing tile through the crop if it gets planted. We have had 2”-6” of rain in the majority of the territory with heavy rain in the forecast this week. The need for drainage systems is more evident than ever!
Bob Rabey, 641-328-99050
Planting in most of NE Iowa is behind because of the continuing rain. It has slowed tile installation but has allowed for tile repairs. The pattern tiled fields have been paying off.
Chris Myers, 317-600-4886
As most of the Midwest has, Indiana has had an extremely wet and cold start to spring. There have been very few crops planted, and a lot of producers have yet to get the first bit of Nitrogen applied.
For the most part, growers who were able to get out in the fields were doing so on the farms that had a good water management system in place. If anything, this spring is proving the need and value of a good drainage system on the farm.
Progress is still being made on the tile installation side as many contractors have been slowed by the excessive precipitation and are working to complete spring projects in between rain events. This fall is shaping up to be a busy one for drainage tile installation as many growers are looking at drainage as part of their risk management program for 2020.
MINNESOTA & DAKOTAS
Mike Loscheider, 612-247-8900
The Dakota’s and Minnesota are extremely wet. Spring planting is not started in 95% of the area with about 50% tillage yet to be done and a lot of fertilizer still to be applied. Some work is starting in the sandy areas. Many areas have standing water with more precipitation and cool weather in the forecast.
There is a lot of talk regarding tiling through crop as last Fall and this Spring have been a real challenge to tile and get field work done. Many Contractors have a full schedule of work, but have not been able to get started. Farmer tiling is slow as they are concentrating on trying to get a crop in the field. Lot of talk about prevent plant and getting some tiling done.
KENTUCKY & TENNESSEE
Chad Feagin, 270-293-9348
The South Eastern Region is taking full advantage of weather windows Mother Nature is giving us. This spring as of late has saw a tug of war approach between tile machines and tillage equipment. As corn planters are working to get passed the half way mark, my region has started on fall tiling plans and securing pipe as we anticipate a large volume of product orders.
Kendal Dunn, 573-239-8277
It’s been a wet and challenging spring in MO and Eastern KS which was preceded by one of the wettest falls in history. February and March are typically very busy months for us in this area, however this year some area’s of the Missouri and Mississippi river bottoms saw some of the worst flooding in history.
Other areas were able to do a limited amount of work. Finally it started drying out in April and work got started but it was still spotty. There is a lot of NRCS cost share work done in MO and some areas had spent all the funding on fall cover crops leaving no funding for spring soil conservation of building terraces with tile drainage.
Then just this past week this area was hit again. Rainfall amounts varied across the region from 2 to 7+ inches putting the rivers out in the fields again in some areas. There had been a lot of corn put in the past 2-3 weeks. It’s too soon to know the impact of the heavy rains on the freshly planted corn, but this usually is not a good scenario and the result may be many acres of replant.
The 30 day and the 30-90 day precipitation forecasts are showing most of this area to be above normal precipitation, of course we all know how accurate weather forecasts are sometimes. Time will tell, but hopefully the stars will align to allow more tile installation before all the acres get crops planted on them.
Mark Wieland, 608-290-1113
With a late wet fall followed by a cool wet spring including several April snow storms, the harvest and planting windows have become increasingly smaller in Wisconsin.
To stay profitable many farmers are trying to increase acres farmed in these shorter seasons, and one sure way to help them get in and out of the field is to invest in tiling which I see as the hidden gem. Now more than ever with high input costs, weather conditions and fluctuating markets, many producers feel they can’t afford to invest in tiling, when the reality is they can’t afford not to!
In Wisconsin, with the unpredictable weather and the pressure to increase yields and make more land productive, tiling is an invaluable asset. In today’s Ag economy producers can’t risk waiting to tile and in Wisconsin the decision should be clear. The time is now!