Rain slows down farmers - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Rain slows down farmers

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After a long winter, farmers found frozen ground holding them back. Now with rain covering northeastern South Dakota, fields are filling up, and farmers are waiting.

"It's been tough. We've come off the coldest winter in decades. It was pretty dry, so frost was really deep this year. Spring has been pretty cool. We haven't seen many 80 degree days," Wheat Growers Producer Marketing Manager, Travis Antonsen said.

Usually South Dakota farmers thirst for rain, but right now the timing is off. "In South Dakota it's hard to not wish for moisture. We're only a few days from a drought it feels like. It's a balance, you want to get your crop in, but as soon as it's in you want that moisture to keep it going too," Antonsen said.

Late corn planting can mean a risk of frost damage in the fall, so if the rain doesn't stop, farmers will have to look at their options. "If it keeps raining guys will look at switching maturities and going to a shorter day corn, or they will possibly look at doing other crops such as soy beans," agronomist Steven Zemlicka said.

Depending on the field, a swap of crop can be done. "It has to do with the herbicide. If they have corn herbicide down already, it could injure the beans. If they don't have it down then there is no problem," Zemlicka said.

Though right now fields aren't looking too hot, we are still way ahead of last year. South Dakota has 52% of its corn fields completed right now, while last year at this time we only had 33%.

"We definitely need the rain to get us going. Right now we are sitting on an okay timeline, we're not getting too late. We still have a chance to get everything in," Zemlicka said.

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