Spring snow combined with wet conditions wreaks havoc on farmer’s planting schedule

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ROCKFORD (WREX) – It’s planting season for stateline farmers.  But for some farmers like Richard Beuth, their planting equipment is parked inside for now.

“A farmer doesn’t dare go out and try to plant corn into a wet soil,” says Beuth. “That’s just a disaster waiting to happen.”

Beuth says most farmers will be playing catch-up in the coming weeks. He says May 10th is a magic date many farmers ideally shoot for to have their corn planted by.  It’s a deadline he doesn’t see as realistic this year given the soggy conditions. Beuth says planting after this window generally means a higher risk of losing yield.

“If it goes into May 20th or 25th you’re talking about a loss of 20 or 25 bushels per acre.”

But it’s not just the weather that’s got farmers anxious. Those conditions mixed with falling prices are creating a perfect storm uncertainty.

“Corn today at the local elevator three miles away is only $3.05 and we need $4 a bushel to break even and cover all your costs.”

According to Beuth, anywhere from 20% – 50% of farmer’s product is traded oversees, which is why they’re pushing lawmakers to iron out solid foreign trade agreements.

“In my years of experience I’ve never seen the farmers this discouraged since the mid 80s when he had bad times and high interest rates.”

And while you can’t control the weather, Beuth is taking control of what he can, choosing a good attitude.

“Farmers are optimistic people you have to be every spring you put the seed in the ground and you’re optimistic you’ll get good crops and the prices will improve.”

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden

Investigative Reporter

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