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Wisconsin farmer seriously considering prevent plant claims

A central Wisconsin farmer’s planting plans have drastically changed.

John Eron from Junction City tells Brownfield he had one good day to plant about 150 acres of corn on his heavy clay ground but held off on additional fertilizing and planting. “On one field, we got over eight inches of rain in the last two weeks. Another field was about six and a half, so I don’t know if I made the right decision or not but I had a hard time wanting to put that kind of fertilizer out there and potentially see a crop failure.”

Eron says with that much rain over clay, the risk of fertilizer running off the fields was just too high.

Much of Eron’s cropland has drain tile, which he says has been flowing steadily. “It’s kind of a unique thing. The heavier flat ground that’s tiled is likely going to be ready to go quicker than some of my higher fields simply because a lot of that water was able to flash off, and then with the tile lines pulling water from underneath, we’re looking like those might be some of the first fields I’m on, if we can get going again here.”

The big decision now is when fields are dry, will it be soybeans or cover crops?

Eron says the recent rains have caused different problems east of the Wisconsin River, where he has been doing some custom spraying. “There’s a lot of areas we saw some gully erosion from those rains, and there’s a few of them big enough where you could lose a small tractor in them. In a bunch of those spots where they washed, we actually saw areas on the lower spots of the field where seeds were covered in three, four, and six inches of soil. I have a feeling they’re going to have some severe emergence issues with those.”

Eron’s biggest challenge today is deciding if he will file prevent plant claims on some or all the remaining fields since today is the deadline to contact crop insurance agents.  If Eron gambles on late plant corn or planting more soybeans, he has to hope for dry fields and time to plant beans before June 10th.

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