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Farmers Planting Crops Later Because Of Rain

With high seed and fertilizer prices, agriculture experts say there is little room for error when it comes to planting crops.

Recent rains and cold weather have kept farmers across Indiana from planting their crops.

Farmer Tom Hackman grows soybeans, corn and a variety of vegetables on 1,500 acres in Jackson and Washington counties. He says the season looked like it would be fairly normal, but then the rain started and did not stop. Some of his farmland is now covered with several inches of water.

“We’re definitely looking to be a week later for our grain crop than what we would typically be,” he says. “We’re still hoping that with our grain crop we can be close to normal.”

Hackman is keeping his vegetables and other produce in a greenhouse until the temperatures rise. He and other farmers around the state want to get planting so the crops, especially corn, have plenty of time to mature before next fall.

But if farmers put seeds in the ground while the ground is still cold and wet, those seeds could start to rot, ruining their chance of producing.

Jackson County Purdue Extension Educator Richard Beckort says high seed prices make getting the timing right extremely important.

“Seed’s expensive, fertilizer’s expensive, equipment, anything made of steel, is expensive, so your return percentage error is just very small,” he says. “So you want to make sure you’re doing everything correct.”

There is another chance of rain for much of the state this weekend, but farmers hope the ground will start to dry out early next week.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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