I’m enjoying the unseasonably warm weather in the central Corn Belt this week, where temperatures are 20 F or more warmer than normal.

While I’ve lived in Oregon for most of the past 9 years, I’m back in the Midwest frequently. The native Iowan in me reacts to this weather in two ways. First, I like it. Second, I remember enough springs where things turned cold quickly. The April blizzard of 1973 that slammed much of the western Corn Belt comes to mind. And I have that nagging worry that we may pay for this current respite from winter.

But for strip-tillers, there’s a positive here. This mild weather is an opportunity for those who made strips last fall in wet conditions to correct problems before they start planting corn, says ag consultant Kevin Kimberley. In this week’s lead story, Kimberley offers advice on assessing these strips and making sure those with chunks of soil become a better seedbed.

As Kimberley says, you only get one chance to plant the crop right, and on time.

So, here’s hoping the blizzards stay away, and that soil profile picks up badly needed moisture — and not in the form of the deluges we’ve seen over the past few springs.