TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Low: 28. Winds: North 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 41. Winds: North 10-15 mph.
Storm Team 20 Chief Meteorologist
Farmers Prepare for Spring Planting
It's the middle of winter, but farmers are already thinking ahead using their time out of the field to purchase and repair equipment.
Looking across Central Illinois fields, there's snow as far as the eye can see. For farmers though, winter time doesn't mean down time.
"You get on the books and try to make your place more efficient for the next year, a lot of tax prepartion this time of year, a lot of prepaying of seed and fertilizer, and a lot of decisions have to be made on what crops are going to be planted based on commodity prices," said Doug Awe, owner and dealer principle at Arends-Awe, Incorporated in Winchester.
Preparing for spring planting also means making sure equipment is in tip top shape.
"Most farmers really have a deadline of about the 15th of March they want to be ready to go, they might not run until April 15th, but they want it in the shed and ready to go," said Awe.
That means the parts counter is a busy place at Arends-Awe. However, Awe says, these days, new parts aren't needed as often.
"We finished up 2013 very strong, but with the sale of new machinery, the parts business isn't as big as we would think. There's a lot of new machinery out there and it lasts longer," Awe said.
With record farm income levels for 2013, many farmers are spending their money on new machinery.
"We sell a lot of grain handling systems. We had a big harvest this year so seed handling and grain handling are very popular this time of year. We also have a lot of high horse powered tractors and probably larger implements for the spring planting season that they're investing in," Awe said.
Many farmers also reinvest in new machinery for tax purposes.
But for those hanging onto the equipment they already have, they're making sure it's ready to go for planting season.
"We have tractor problems and combine programs but we're really pushed at this time of year just to get the planters in. We had a late harvest so probably couldn't get a lot of the machinery in until the last 30 days so we only got a few weeks of to get that done. March first will be here before you know it," Awe said.
Doug Awe says there's new equipment coming in February that will increase planting speed and drop more seeds per acre.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT