POSEY COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – Around the Tri-State, farmers are hard at work getting seeds in the ground, gearing up for the months ahead. Many farmers, like Hans Schmitz in Posey County, had to battle recent frosts and chilly weather.

“Corns, bean. It doesn’t matter at this point. It’s time to get planting,” says Schmitz, who has been around farming his entire life. Schmitz operates a 1,200 acre farm in rural Posey County and has been busy planting winter wheat, soybeans, and corn. After dodging near-freezing temperatures during initial planting, Schmitz, who is also a Conservation Agronomist for Purdue Extension, says the focus now is on soil temperatures.

“Here in southwestern Indiana we’re around 53-55 degrees soil temperatures,” explains Schmitz, “which is good for planting, but we’ve been steady at that for a long while, which means it has delayed emergence of the crops quite a bit.”

Schmitz says nice weather for the start of Spring allowed for several windows of opportunity to put seed in the ground, adding that he is already a third of the way finished with planting at the start of May.

“There have been years where everyone has pretty much finished up in the month of April,” recalls Schmitz. “There have been years where we did have windows like this year, where part of the crop is planted in April and then we’ll be coming into May to finish up. There have been years where April’s out of the question, most of May was out of the question, and you started to wonder what to do in the month of June.”

Once crops are in the ground, the focus will turn towards the Spring and Summer weather pattern, where balance will be key.

“We don’t want to see any flooding rains in the Spring,” says Schmitz. “As we get into late June-July, that concern lessens a little bit. We definitely don’t want to see any real drought want to set in.”

As planting season continues, Schmitz says it is still important for motorists to be cautious of farming equipment on the roadways. Drivers are encouraged to make sure they are giving farming vehicles plenty of space, and Schmitz adds that drivers should not pass farm equipment unless safe to do so, or if the driver of the farming vehicles gives a clear signal that it is safe to pass.