Mother Nature puts crop farmers on edge this spring
Written by Ally Crutcher, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
Combine 15 degrees below average with frozen ground, and one will see a heated battle between Mother Nature and the Iowa farmer.
Seed planting is just around the corner for crop farmers. According to the Farmer's Almanac, corn seed planting usually takes place between April 20 and May 4.
However, the tail end of March still shows frost atop the ground, making farmers slightly uneasy.
The Farmer's Almanac recommends at least a 60-degree soil temperature to plant corn seed to ensure successful germination.
Some local farmers, like David Ulrich of Black Hawk County, feels safe planting with the ground being 55 degrees.
Another concern, depending where a farmer's crop may be in the region, is flooding as the thaw continues. Ulrich says, on his farm, most of the remaining snow is luckily in ditches rather than where he plants.
Like many farmers, Ulrich is full of positivity, and said a farmer never knows which hand nature will deal.
"There are so many options that can happen, and you don't have control over most of them," he said. "So a hope and a prayer goes a long ways."
Despite the long-lasting winter, Ulrich estimates he'll be in the fields planting by May 1.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:41:17 GMT
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