CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — This has been a tough spring for farmers; wet weather prevented full scale field activity until the second week in May. When the wet weather finally broke about May 8, farmers headed to the field with planters a month later than expected.
But there is another part of agriculture that was also challenged by the weather.
General Manager Curt Miller of United Prairie said he and other commercial applicators also had been prevented from applying herbicides before planters rolled.
“It’s very challenging, Stu, I’m not going to lie. But you do what you got to do to stay in front of our growers so they can get their crop in the ground,” Miller said. “Sometimes you got to change plans and go to a Plan B. Some of those challenges that add to that, you know, high speed planters make a big difference from the past and planting corn and beans at the same time make it more challenging. A few years ago, we planted corn first and went to beans as soon as the corn was done. It was easy to stay in front of everybody because everybody could concentrate on corn and switch everything over to beans and keep on trucking. But doing two crops at once, it is even more challenging. But we have to improvise and adapt and do what we’ve got to to do get them taken care of.”
That included Miller himself climbing into a sprayer cab to cover acreage that needed herbicides applied, all while he was challenged with supply chain issues in getting farm chemicals.
“That is correct. In all honesty, thank God we’ve made it through so far,” Miller said. “Now did we have the exact packet size somebody wanted? Sometimes no. Exact brand? Sometimes no. But we’ve got what they needed to get through. If they wanted a package of something, they may had to have totes or bulk. Instead of having name brand AAtrex, they may have had to use a generic atrazine, for example.”
“But for the most part, we’ve made it through just fine up to this point and it seems like, knock on wood, we’re going to make it through the season just fine,” Miller continued. “Not saying there has not been some nervousness throughout the last few months, making sure we had enough, but in all honesty we’re getting by just fine. As an industry we are.”