Spring planting delayed due to cold, wet ground

Spring planting delayed due to cold, wet ground

Today's soaking rain is not a welcome sight for area farmers.
KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - Today's soaking rain is not a welcome sight for area farmers.          

Many fields are already too wet to plant, others are still full of frost.

"This spring is really abnormal. By this time most guys have got some stuff in the ground" says Will Boeder, Owner-Operator of ORRU Acres.

But this year Boeder has yet to take his planter out of the shed.

"I still have water out in my pasture" he explains.

It is a similar story all across Kewaunee County.

According to Andy Barta, Assistant Manager at Rio Creek Feed Mill "It has put us back in many aspects of the business about 2-4 weeks".

In a typical year, farmers would have oats, peas, alfalfa and some corn planted by May first.

Now, thousands of dollars worth of seed remains in the bags.

"Having a no-till planter is going to be a really good thing because a lot of the fall tillage did not get done last year" Boeder says.

While wet fields are problematic its actually the temperature of the soil that is causing the biggest delays.

"A week or two of 60 degree temperatures would really get that soil warm" Boeder explains.

Right now the ground is roughly 25 degrees. Farmers need it to be 50 for good germination.

According to Barta "As we get later in the year we tend to be a little more risk taking, put it in a little colder just because of what day it is on the calendar".

"Nowadays the newer seeds have coatings on them that you can put them in colder soil and they will not rot. You wait a week or 2 to see them" says Boeder.

Anyone in agriculture is prepared to work long hours, once the weather cooperates.

"I am sure we will be going 24 hours a day to try and catch up" Barta says.

Farmers say they will not sound the panic alarm just yet.

However, if the weather does not improve by mid May, it could have a significant impact on the growing season.

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