Even though it’s been a late start to this year’s planting season, Dennis Cochran, who farms in Shelby County, says now that field conditions are improved, he’s already been out getting seed in the ground.
“Weather permitting, it’s all go now. I’ve got enough ground that I can [plant] that’s dry enough and able to work. I can just keep things going if it doesn’t rain,” says Cochran.
He and his wife Teresa own 130 acres near Flat Rock in Shelby County. Altogether, he farms 800 acres and says he is putting out about 400 acres in corn and the other 400 in beans this year.
Cochran’s first day of planting was Thursday, and he says he was able to get 55 acres of corn planted that day.
Now that the cost of diesel is nearly $5.00 a gallon, he’s says he’s doing what he can to conserve fuel.
“[I] try not to do as much tillage work to save trips over the ground to save a little bit of fuel costs that way,” he says.
Cochran also says the skyrocketing cost of fertilizer has impacted his farming decisions.
“Well, I’ve cut back a little bit on what fertilizers I’m going to apply to my beans and stay about the same for my corn crop. Then, I have added an irrigation system so we’re [increasing] the fertilizer in that area more than what I was used to putting on. Hopefully, it will all pay for itself.”
Cochran says with the recent volatility in the grain markets and higher prices being paid out for corn and soybeans, he has a laid back approach to the markets.
“[We] don’t have to go to the casino to gamble, we can just do it when we put the seed in the ground and hope that the markets are in our favor in the end.”
After more than 40 years of farming and having seen many ups-and-downs, Cochran says the challenges he faces now are the same ones he’s always been facing.
“I guess everything’s pretty much the same. You just try to go year-by-year and hope that there’s left enough at the end of the year to do it all over another time!”
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report on Shelby County farmer Dennis Cochran and his start to the planting season.