The New Normal?

Published On: February 12, 2013

“I Don’t Know What Normal Is Any More”
Trent Brandenburg made this observation while reviewing the strange weather patterns of the last 3 years, including the present unusually warm winter with more rain than snow. Trent believes the top eight inches or so of topsoil are moist and recovered from the drouth of 2012, but the subsoil is still dry. The drain tiles which underlie farmland he has observed, are not “running” very much. Some are trickling and some are not running at all, which means the surface moisture has not reached the subsoil. “Any rain is appreciated,” he continued, “as long as it isn’t in the end of March or early April” when he would like to begin planting.

Trent has his seed orders and crop inputs ready and has not been told of any shortages by his suppliers. He fall-applied his fertilizer after the ground froze, so the implement passes didn’t compact the soil. With uncertainties about farm legislation and crop insurance, Trent is reviewing his available insurance products for the next crop year. He has to weigh the cost of the premiums versus how much risk he is wiling to assume, and then make a value judgement accordingly.

More from The Field Report

Need More Cold Weather, Warmer Markets

January 31, 2024|

Trent Brandenburg wants more cold weather to freeze the soil deeper and kill more overwintering insects. "We are having too many 40-degree days," he observed. Trent noted, "Not much grain is moving," due to lower market pricing. "Eventually, the owner [...]

December Details, Then Christmas

December 6, 2023|

Trent Brandenburg has a lot of details to work with in December before the presents can be wrapped and the tree trimmed. Trent farms plots of land for many different owners. In December the harvest is done. No two plots [...]

A Good Season For Trent Despite The Drought

October 31, 2023|

Trent Brandenburg is happy with his farming results this season. He still has about 20 acres of corn and another 20 of beans to harvest. Despite the drought earlier in the season, it is now too wet to get into [...]