Farmers battle high water at start of planting season

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ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – The planting season is off to a rocky start, as steady rains are keeping farmers out of rain-soaked fields.

Flooding is only one of the challenges facing farmers, and it could all add up to more money flying out of your pocketbooks and wallets down the road.

Stanley G. Fuhrmann farms about 400 acres in northern Adams County.

Some of it is prime river bottom land that typically produces top yields.

But this isn’t a typical growing year.

“Obviously, I have no control over the weather, just deal with it as it occurs and try my best,” Fuhrmann said.

14 percent of Indiana’s corn crop has been planted– just 6 percent of beans–putting farmers way behind schedule.

With no more rain at all, it would be 5 to 7 days minimum before Fuhrmann can get equipment in the fields.

“Try to be patient, but then at the same time be aggressive and make sure you can get it done, in as good a shape as possible,” he said.

If farmers don’t get planting done by early June, they run the risk of losing their crops to an early frost.

There are other headaches that farmers are also trying to overcome.

A big one is the trade war with China, which has cut down on sales to one of America’s biggest grain customers.

That situation has been hurting farmers for months.

“The demand is not there, so we’re not selling a lot of corn and soybeans to overseas market, and so we’re trying…we want to get this crop out, but then it’s doom and gloom because we know that right now it’s not looking really good on the market side either,” said Adams County ag agent Brad Kohlhagen.

A dismal growing season might well drive up prices we all pay at supermarkets down the road, one more thing to fret about in a stress-filled spring down on the farm.

 

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer

Follow Jeff on Twitter at JneumeyerNews

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