In my area of Central Indiana, producers have had a challenging time getting the crops planted. With all of the rain last fall and the slow warm up this spring, the ground in our area has never dried out completely in the top several inches. This has resulted in just a few days so far this spring when the ground has been fit for planting, and these days have been in between the rains we have had.
Despite the weather challenges this spring, there has been a bright side for farms that are patterned tiled. All of the farms that Sam and I manage with this type of systematic drainage have been planted first and are now up and growing nicely. These fields dried out faster, so they actually got to take advantage of several of the later rains that have caused delays in other fields. With the delayed planting this year, the tiled fields should see a 10-15% yield boost compared with other farms that got planted later. With the ideal planting time at the end of April and beginning of May past, farmers are forced to make harder decisions about whether or not to plant in the few days between rain events. Thus, some fields without good drainage have now been planted in less than ideal conditions. Every year brings new and different challenges. Like always, it will be interesting to see how Mother Nature shapes the rest of the growing season.