One thing that Fayette County farmers dont have to worry about at this point is soil moisture. In fact, its the only thing working in the farmers’ favor.
Precipitation this spring is continuing to prevent most of the countys farmers from getting this years corn and soybeans crop into the ground, according to Fayette County Farm Bureau Manager Ron Marshel.
I have seen some (corn) being planted, but I dont see any emerging, Marshel said.
Were still at a very minimal amount of corn being planted, he said.
Those who have been unable to get their crops planted, Marshel said, are getting nervous.
Were still OK at this point, but that window of opportunity is narrowing, he said, pointing out that he has seen some fields where farmers havent waited for warmer, drier weather.
Last year was one of those years when we were planting by April 1, Marshel said. Were now at May 1, and were still some time off from being able to get everything planted, especially in the low-lying areas.
We need a good week of nice, warm weather, some gentle winds and no rain, he said.
But it doesnt look like farmers will get that, with more precipitation predicted in the days ahead.
Were paying real close attention to the long-range forecast, 10-15 days out, Marshel said.
Adding to the problem have been the unseasonably cool temperatures.
Soil temperature is always a factor, and the cold temperatures we had at the beginning of this week certainly did not help us out, he said.
Without warmer soil temperatures, the seed just wont germinate, Marshel said.
Whats needed are more days like this Wednesday highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 50s. The short-range forecast calls for temperatures to range from the 40s at night to 60s during the day, and we can survive that, Marshel said.
For the most part, he said, the delay in planting will not affect this falls yields.
It really depends on what the summer will be like, Marshel said. Even with the soil moisture buildup, we will still need some timely rains this summer.
However, he said, some farmers may already be faced with yield reductions this year. With some varieties (of corn), the delay may already be affecting what the farmer will be able to get at harvest, he said.