Wintry weather could delay spring planting

Local News

Farmer Nick Van Wychen has no idea when they’ll be able to get seeds out into the fields.

“The weather can change around, you start getting 3-4 days of 65° weather and sunshine and 15 to 20 mile an hour winds and you’ll be planting in a week’s time,” says Nick. “But I don’t see that happening soon.”

The Van Wychen’s planned to start planting corn, soybeans and more the first or second week of May.

But April snow showers leave a question mark over their planting timeline.

“It’s definitely holding us back, it’s definitely hindering us right now from our soil temps warming up, so I definitely think we’re going to be delayed,” says Nick.

It’s an occupation that almost always depends on mother nature.

“As a farmer you have to be pretty reactive and being reactive to snow in April, what are you do? You’re getting everything ready and gearing up for May planting,” says Nick’s brother Matt Van Wychen. 

They say the soil in this region tends to be heavier, like clay that holds moisture very well and eventually can become hard like brick making it difficult to produce a good crop.

“If dry weather doesn’t come we plant when we can,” says Matt. “You take those little pockets of sunshine and we work when we can, we plant when we can, so you just make the best of what we have. Because it’s what we do.”

The Outagamie extension office told Local 5 that alfalfa has broken dormancy, meaning they have started to grow.

But any ice or cold weather we get will damage those crops.

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