Planting With Fervor

By WEEK Producer

July 15, 2010 Updated Apr 30, 2008 at 10:19 PM CDT

Illinois' Ag–industry brings in more than 9 billion dollars annually.

But, wet winter and recent cold weather has delayed planting season for area farmers.

News 25's Jenny Li shows us area farmers are now working feverishly to get to their unplanted fields.

The soil is finally dry and firm enough for farmers to get their seen into it.

Farmers like Jacob Streitmatter have been waiting patiently for this time to come. "In the past we've always tried to get the corn in the ground by April, normally in the years past we're done today."

Farmers have until May 10th to complete planting and still have successful yields. But many of them would rather be done by now...and they'll work until dark to get as much done as they can.

Kurt Ehnle said, "This is not an 8–5 job. It's a 5–10 job, and that's 5am–10pm. After we get the crop in we'll relax."

Technology aids farmers in planting in the dark. They use GPS systems and auto–steer– which works like an automatic pilot– to make sure they plant straight. Straight lines are no longer a problem, a weather...well, that's a little more unpredictable.

Ehnle said, "You're working with Mother Nature all year long. They're always planting, they're always a harvest. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's not so good, but you put the seed in the ground and you're hopeful you'll have a harvest."

Only about two percent of the cornfields in Peoria County are planted.

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