SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, breezy and warmer with a slight chance of a passing shower or light drizzle. High: 56. Winds: South 15-20 mph, gusting to 25 mph.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Cloudy and mild with showers likely ...
2013 Growing Season Outlook
As spring approaches, things are starting to get a little busier on the Seifert Farm near Auburn.
"Right now we're getting planters hooked up," Alan Bailey said. "And making sure everything's gonna work and just going through and trying to find things to stay warm and not play in the snow."
Right now the fields are full of snow, but last year the crops were up and growing.
"Last year at this time, our days were busy spent in tractors," Bailey said. "There were a few guys that were done planting corn by now or close to it, and had been planting corn for a week. And, a lot of difference a year makes."
According to Brandt Tech Agronomist Ed Corrigan, the soil is still about 20 degrees too cold to plant.
"We're looking for 50 degree soil temperature, and that's where corn starts to germinate," Corrigan said. "We'd like it to be 55 when we plant, and be in a warming trend, so that the days after that we'll be warm."
The odds of filling the combine with a bumper crop next fall would be better if crops are planted soon.
"Once we get past third week of April, and then we can start probably detracting," Corrigan said. "Whether it's corn or beans, some potential yield is lost."
Chris Miller of the National Weather Service is watching for that warming trend to begin.
"As we get into the first couple weeks of April, it looks like we're still going to be in the same weather pattern as far as colder than normal conditions, as well as above normal precipitation," Miller said.
The summer forecast is probably a bigger concern to farmers, with the question of whether we will see another drought.
"Overall, for late spring into summer, above-normal temperatures," Miller said. "And precipitation very close to what we expect for that time of the year."
That's enough of a reason for farmers to prefer the weather this season.
"Right now we're going into the spring with a lot more moisture than we had last year," Bailey said. "So we may be a few weeks behind on the heating units, but we'll take the moisture any day."
Reporting in Sangamon County, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.