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Been doing my best not to plant corn yet.  Nights are just too cold.  Taking the extra time to get things ready has been well worth it.  While moving equipment around I noticed a slash on the front tire of my planting tractor.  At first I thought I had driven over something, but it was far worse.  The rubber was simply peeling away from the cords.  Can't be too upset, the tires were likely over 20 years old.  My first thought was replace the damaged one, then I immediately decided, the other one can't be that good either, it wasn't.  On close inspection I could see the cords on that tire too.  

You may be wondering why I am thinking this is all a good thing.  It may have cost me over $500 to get new tires, but i changed them in the barn, not at the back of the field with only a few acres to go on a Saturday night.  Usually if something simple can go wrong it has an amazing ability to do so at the worst possible time, and those tires were not likely to survive rolling on bean straw, it can be amazingly strong when it doesn't need to.

So with properly inflated tires, full tanks of fuel, greased equipment, I am one fertilizer delivery away from starting this years planting.  I won't be the first, the neighbour seeded his first field today.  I am still cautious with the near 0 temperatures in the night, but the forecast is looking warmer, and I doubt the weekend can go by without starting the work.

Now markets have been interesting of late, with Soybeans demanding such a high price relative to corn, planting intentions have got to be changing. By the shear number of farm surveys that have come my direction, i get the feeling the players want to know how much and they are asking a lot of farmers to find out.  

Generally I respond to surveys, sometimes you can score a check for $20 to $50.  But other times I get the feeling its just a ploy.  So far on six occasions in the past 2 months I have been asked to complete an internet survey, and would be given $50 for it, if I qualified.  What goes into qualifying, essentially two questions, how much of each crop did you plant last year, and what you plan to plant this year.  If by chance you do qualify, its likely a survey about seed or pesticides.  But I get the feeling most give up that valuable planting intensions info for nothing.  It doesn't bother me that some firm wants to know, but they could be upfront about it, or maybe they just ignore that info they collected to qualify me (doubt it).  

The way I look at it, everyone likes to give their opinion when not asked, even on how to solve complex global political problems, or how people should vote, what religions should be allowed to do, or even when freedom of speech should be limited.  But phone them and they hang up.  Sounds backward doesn't it. Oh well, I will happily give my opinions, and if I score an extra few bucks the better, and I actually did qualify twice, and the checks didn't bounce.

Looking forward to a safe and efficient start to my planting and maybe a bump in corn prices to make planting it instead of beans worth the extra effort.

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