Later winter, wet weather slows planting for farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Later winter, wet weather slows planting for farmers

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A delayed start to the spring planting season has Iowa farmers out in the fields around the clock to catch up on days they couldn't till the land.

"The farmers will work throughout the night," said Brittany Menke, dairy nutritionist for Three Rivers Farm Service. "They'll work through all day, they'll work through all night."

Last week's heavy rainfall interrupted planting progress. "It's tougher to get into the fields when its wet, however, we have days like today when its nice and windy, it dries the soil up pretty fast."

The long winter also affected the season.  "Really spring didn't start until about three weeks ago, so we would've probably been doing field work probably over a month ago if we were able to," Menke said.

Some farmers have finally been able to get on their tractors to plant their land, but crop production was impacted.

"We've had a lot of cold weather that did not allow for hay to grow. In a normal year, we would see hay being harvested here in the next couple of weeks. We might be into June before we start seeing hay harvested," Menke said.

Less hay will affect beef and dairy farmers who feed it to their stock and milk cows.

As for other crops, corn is three days behind normal with 40 percent of acres being planted, according to the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report. Soybeans are on pace, with 11 percent planted.

For north central Iowa, crop progress is even more behind with just nine percent of corn acres, and no soybeans planted because of the wet conditions.

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