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Cool, wet weather frustrating farmers

By Staff | May 15, 2009

Farmers are getting into the fields, but not for any length of time, as wet, cool weather continues to be a source of frustration.

This year’s crop is being planted about two to three weeks behind the average timetable, according to state agriculture officials.

Conditions looked promising early this month with some dry weather, but then rain showers the last week and a half have slowed field work.

Pierce County farmer Cory Johnson said about one-half of his spring wheat crop has been planted so far, and there is good moisture to work with. However, farmers really need a stretch of dry weather to get the rest of the crop into the ground and move crop development along.

Many have had a chance to begin planting wheat and barley and even some corn acres, according to Sheila Braaten, agronomist with Farmers Union Oil Company of Rugby. Canola acres are next on the list, and eventually sunflowers and soybeans will be planted.

“Last year was so dry and cold, so having the moisture to work with this year is good,” she said.

Despite the delay getting into the fields, today’s equipment enables farmers to get seeding done a lot faster, Braaten said.

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