Lots of seed going into the ground, says Lehman
“The break that farmers were looking for,” is how Jeff Lehman, of Lehman Feed Mill referred to the dry stretch of weather that has blessed area fields for the past 10 days.
Lehman said that even if there is a substantial rain event today, farmers are in much better shape as far as planting goes. He said that unless rains are much heavier than predicted, it shouldn’t detour spring planting all that much.
“We’ve had a lot of seed go into the ground in the last several days,” said Lehman.
Lehman said that while a few farmers started planting last weekend, most took to the fields with their planters on Monday. Many have been sowing seed almost continuously since then, said Lehman.
Lehman said that while a large percentage of planting this week has been corn, some farmers have been sowing soy beans.
“If farmers are able to get back at it the first part of next week, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the crops will be sown by next weekend,” said Lehman. “This was the break that we had been looking for.”
Timing for planting is good, said Lehman. He noted the timing of planting corn is just a little past what is considered as optimum planting time, but is still close enough that it could produce a pretty good crop this year, all things cooperating with weather conditions from here on out.
Of the three main crops in the area, Lehman currently has the most concern about the wheat crop.
“With the winter storms and weather events, a lot of the wheat has places where there was ponding. It is not a good even growth,” said Lehman. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I don’t think that it’s going to be one of the better wheat crops in recent years.”
Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that the area should make it through the current rain event in pretty good shape. However, there are two concerns on the horizon.
The first is this Sunday evening when there could be a fairly substantial frost which could affect truck farmers and area fruit growers.
“It’s still too early to tell,” said McCoy. “So many things affect frost, including wind speed and whether or not there is a cloud cover. However, Sunday night conditions bear watching. They may call for a response to protect certain plants.”
McCoy is also concerned about another possible rain event mid to late week. The weather specialist observed that it is still too early to tell, but there are some indications that this could be a fairly strong rain event.
McCoy said that projections from the National Weather Service indicate that temperatures will be fairly normal this week, but could be slightly cooler from normal near the end of the month.
Of more concern is the return of projected moisture, which could be above normal for the last part of the month.
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