Rain or snow, planting season must go on. That's the mantra on CropWatcher 2.0 Charles “Charlie” Roegge’s farm, where all 1,500 acres of corn are in the ground and about 900 acres of beans remain unplanted.
Across the state, 54% of corn and 41% of soybeans had been planted, according to the latest USDA crop progress report.
Planters began running the first week of April on Roegge’s Cass County farm, but rain, cool temperatures and snow sidelined equipment at different times during the last month.
Corn was already out of the ground on April 20 and Roegge hopes the freezing temperatures did not leave permanent damage.
“We are expecting more rain this week, so we have really been pushing to get everything in the ground the last few days,” said Roegge. “There have been many late nights.”
During planting season, Roegge assists his dad with spraying. He also watches and learns as he rides along with his dad or Uncle Aaron in one of two tractors that run planting equipment.
“I don’t really get to run equipment this time of year because it’s a little too complicated,” the 10-year-old said. “But I ride along with my dad and pay attention to how he does things.”
In addition to soybeans and field corn, he also planted sweetcorn, which is already emerging.
On the livestock side of the farm, Roegge reported a few calves were born this spring.
“As soon as everything is planted and sprayed, we will move our cattle from the main farm to nearby pastures for the summer,” he shared.
From late nights in the field to early mornings for school, Roegge said he just wrapped up achievement testing and is moving onto science projects.
“Our classroom has an incubator and we had six chicken eggs in it,” he shared. “Four of them have hatched so we have gotten to watch that all happen, which has been very fun and exciting. We are also growing some lavender in our classroom.”
Growing projects are some of Roegge’s favorite. But he’s still counting down to the last day of school on May 27.
Most importantly, he is looking forward to “getting on a farming schedule instead of a school schedule.”