Viborg farmer/SDSA director planting ‘as early as I’ve ever gone’

April 30, 2024

There has been limited planting among South Dakota farmers. As of Sunday, April 28th, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says soybean planting in South Dakota is four percent complete, slightly ahead of the average of two percent completed. The same survey indicates corn planting is 13 percent finished, which is ahead of last year’s one percent complete and also ahead of the five-year average of six percent complete.

Chad Nelsen, who farms near the southeastern South Dakota community of Viborg, said during the last week of April, that planting conditions have been good following earlier precipitation.

“We recently had anywhere from two to four inches [of rain] kind of pretty widespread in our area,” Nelsen told the South Dakota Soybean Network. “We were able to get in the field about four days later. There’s a fair amount of corn going in, not a frantic pace; but a lot of beans going in early, probably earlier than usual, so we are planting both at the same time.”

Nelsen, a South Dakota Soybean Association director, figures hiring some of his planting, an option that allows planting corn and soybeans simultaneously, is a good investment so that he can get all of his row crops in the ground sooner rather than later.

“This year is as early as I’ve ever gone; I started on [April] 23rd. I try to have them in by May first, that’s always kind of a goal,” he said. “I think, the more sunlight you can harvest, the better off we are. It seems like the beans take the weather, the cold soil temps, better than the corn, so we’re moving ahead.”

Even though shots of rain in Nelsen’s area temporarily kept the planters in the shed, Nelsen’s outlook for the start of the season is positive.

“Yeah, just having that little bit of moisture, it’s really planting nice; I couldn’t say enough good about the conditions,” Nelsen said. “It seems like the cornstalk ground going into soybeans is drying up a little bit quicker, being able to get on a little bit sooner. As far as the overall moisture, I’d say we’re as good as we could ask for in our area.”

The past winter was cold following early snowfall. And there were conditions that Nelsen saw as a hopeful sign for the growing season.

“We had around 20 inches [of snow] and then we really didn’t have any after that, but we had a good March melt, we had a lot of fog. We’re hopeful that those fog days will kind of come around when we need them in May and June, here,” said Nelsen.

“I guess all we can ask for is that the good Lord gives us timely rain and everybody has a safe season and let’s hope for the best and do our best,” concluded Nelsen. “Be good neighbors and pray that we have a good crop, and everybody can kind of hold things together and make some money.”