Heavy rain making it hard for farmers to plant

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ST. LOUIS – Heavy rain this week is making planting difficult on farmers. This time of year, farmers look for dry stretches of weather. After a rain event like this, it could take up to 10 days for the ground to be ready for the seed.

“Well we are always worried about heavy rain like uh that’s been predicted,” Belleville farmer Bob Biehl said. “Farmers are mainly optimists and they say, well next week will be better.”

This week’s projected rainfall is over two inches, dampening soils and the chance for an early season plant.

“The thought is, the earlier you get it planted, slightly better yields,” Biehl said.

The potential for higher yields and higher commodity prices in 2021 is driving farmers to get out now, but rain in excess will prevent any early-season sow from growing. The top 2 to 3 inches of soil needs to be dry before preparing the seed bed.

“To the people that have not planted, then it just delays you even more,” Biehl said. “Depending on what the weather following it is.”

Even with rain gauges filling, farmers are not losing any sleep.

“At this point in the year, early on in the year, I sleep fine. I worry more so in the fall of the year when you have a crop that’s out there and they are predicting a wind storm or something like that. And you have a good crop in the field but you haven’t had enough time to get it all harvest, but mother nature leaves you a mess to deal with to harvest it then.”

Last year, heavy rain kept farmers out the field from April 20 through June 5. This year, they are staying hopeful for a different outcome.

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