Agrible’s Tractor Time to help growers during this rainy period—and beyond

Todd Weitekamp
Product Line Manager

It has been a wild spring of starts and stops in the Midwest. Growers in the corn belt have had favorable weather in mid-April, and were able to get most of the corn in the ground. Many even had time to get a few fields of soybeans planted.

On Thursday, April 27th, the central part of the country saw a severe change in the weather.  Parts of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, and Louisiana saw rainfall accumulations of 7-14 inches, which is devastating to a young crop. Not only was there rain, but heavy snow fell in western parts of Kansas and eastern Colorado, which could potentially do real damage to the wheat crop. Warmer conditions are coming very soon, so we will know just how much damage was done to the crop, and what the results may be.

Since the rain has stopped here in Central Illinois—for the time being—I spent some time driving around looking at fields and how quickly water is draining off. In fields where there is good tiling or a good drainage method, the outlook doesn’t seem too bad. There will be some crop loss, but I am mostly noticing the problem of yellowing corn due to saturated ground and cooler-than-normal temperatures.

Agrible’s Tractor Time tool is still showing that the greater part of the Midwest will continue to be kept out of the fields until May 18th, at least. Agrible’s Tractor Time is a field-specific tool that shows soil workability and when you’re able to get back in the field. It is based on certain criteria, such as soil types, crop rotations, residue management, tillage practices, subsurface tiling, and several other weather related specifics. 

With all of these factors working together, Tractor Time gives you daily updates on which fields you can get into to perform a planting operation, or what needs to be done in that specific field. That data is presented to the grower through their Morning Farm Report account, as well as daily emails that are waiting in their inbox at 5 a.m. 

Getting rid of the amount of wetness from rain or snow is a challenge to say the least, but if we get another sizable event that passes through any of these already saturated areas, that could result in untimely delays, as well as widespread replanting.