Alfalfa health and input costs have farmers concerned

A Wisconsin seed dealer says farmers are not talking much about a possible late planting, but they are concerned about input costs and the health of their alfalfa fields. 

Bob Wilms from Renk Seed tells Brownfield the farmers he has talked to in northeastern Wisconsin are anxious to get in the fields. “They’re looking to get the seed in if they haven’t already had it shipped. Even some of the guys on lower ground, if we continue to have the weather that we’ve had, are optimistic about being on (fields) by the end of the month.”

And, he says their biggest concern has been the health their alfalfa stands. “Those roots, even though those plants were dormant, were basically being bathed in ice water for six weeks and now we’re getting 19-20 degree mornings and 50 degree days, so now it’s March and I’ve got to worry about heaving on an already-stressed plant.”

Wilms says the row crop farmers are definitely looking to save money this year. “Right now with the economic situation farmers are in, if they’re rotating their ground they are looking for the cheapest option. They may just want straight Roundup corn as opposed to planting (something) like SmartStax.”

As far as availability of seed, Wilms says a couple of new corn and soybean hybrids have tight supplies, but most varieties are still readily available.

Wilms talked with Brownfield at the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, WI. Listen to the interview here:

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