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Getting an Early Start

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Getting an Early Start

T.J. Shambaugh
T.J. Shambaugh

Indiana farmers like to get planting started as early as possible, but one Illinois grower is making an extra effort to get into his fields early despite a cold wet spring. T.J. Shambaugh farms corn and soybeans near Oakley, IL and is a firm believer in getting an early start. He said last year his May planted soybeans produced 6 bpa more than his June planted soybeans, and he wants to push that even more this year, “I would like to try and get our soybeans planted by late April.” This year Shambaugh bought a 2nd planter so he could plant corn and soybeans at the same time, “I know Mother Nature can be a challenge, but when a field is ready we want to go.”

He also owns his own application equipment so he can get his pre-plant program started as soon as the fields are ready, “We will apply everything ourselves. We have our own row crop sprayer, our own dry fertilizer spreader, and our own liquid floater so, anytime after April 1, I will be out putting on the pre for corn and soybeans.”  This year, he added, he may be adding some nitrogen to his corn fields.

The 1982 the Purdue graduate and 7th generation farmer says lower commodity prices this year will not affect his seed or fertilizer decisions, “Our approach is we want to produce as many bushels per acre as possible because that is the other way to offset lower prices.” He says, if there has been any cutback, it has been in equipment upgrades.  He does, however, plan to plant more soybean acres; and, for the first time, this year he will plant more soybean acres than corn.  Shambaugh was part of a program sponsored by BASF that focused on how growers are using innovation and new technology in their operations.  In 2013, Shambuagh used Headline, Optill Pro,  Armzon, Vault HP, Sharpen, Zidua, and Priaxor products.