Winter weather making some farmers wary of late spring
Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Hundreds of farmers gathered at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds Saturday for the Farm and Ag Show
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -
This winter has some farmers concerned there may be a later-than-usual planting season.
Hundreds of farmers attended Saturday's Farm and Ag Show at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds.
Jeff Simons was one of them and said he can't wait for spring, but he's worried it will be delayed.
"Got five, six foot of frost? It's going to be a late spring," Simons said, as snowflakes whirled around him in the midst of the live farm auction. "All I'm looking for is spring. Get rid of the cold and the wind. Even if it was 30 degrees, it isn't bad, but when you're below zero for this long, frost keeps going down, cattle don't gain."
Farmer Craig Recker was helping to run the Dubuque County Farm Bureau booth at the event. He said it's too soon to say whether this winter's weather will delay the planting season.
"It's only the first of March," he said. "You know, this weather can turn around pretty fast. I'm sure if this lasts a couple more weeks, you know, then we'll get a little bit concerned about a later spring."
Clarence Gloeckner, a 76-year-old farmer, also attended the Farm and Ag Show. He said it's hard to know what the spring will bring.
"Too early to tell, really," he said. "We're hoping for warm weather."
Gloeckner said this winter is the longest one he can recall.
"It could be a late spring," he mused. "Then you probably have to switch crops, what you're going to plant. You might go to more soybeans and less corn if it gets too late."
With ideal corn-planting season not until late April, however, many farmers aren't yet giving up hopes for a normal spring.
Recker said alfalfa and oats can go in the ground as early as late March, but the corn crop won't get planted until about a month after that, if Mother Nature allows.
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