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Monday, February 18, 2013

Spring Planting Underway

No not corn.

I spotted a vegetable grower planting today in Poag area in Madison County.  I could not see what they were planting, but looking at the pattern I suspect watermelons.  The melons were being transplanted into holes in black plastic mulch. The black will absorb heat to keep the ground warm.  A clear plastic cover on top of the plants will let sunlight through and hold the heat in.  Does this sound like a lot of work?  It does to me.  There were at least a dozen workers in that field doing everything by hand.  Why go through the trouble?  In the Midwest, local growers who can get a jump on the competition can get a premium for their fresh vegetables that come in early.  4th of July watermelons are a big seller.  Some vegetable producers are also using a high tunnel system to get a jump on the season. 

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