Poor weather and flooding causing delays in planting season

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska weather can be unpredictable and this year is a true test of that. After weeks of rain, snow, and flooding, farmers are waiting patiently to get back out in their fields.

“We're definitely wet, saturated and that's slowed us down on field work,” Farmer Doug Saathoff said. “I'd say we're probably a month behind where we usually are at this time.”

Planting season for corn and soybeans typically starts in mid April. But with the recent storm and not enough warm windy days fields are still too wet to work with.

“If they're getting their crop in the end of April, the first part of May they'll still be okay,” Adams County Extension Office Ron Seymour said. “But they're anxious and the sooner you can get in the better.”

If machines are taken out too early they run the risk of compacting soil that could be an issue for years. Some are trying to get ahead by fertilizing or repairing where water ran through low areas.

“We could knock that top end yield off,” Saathoff said. “It's definitely something we don't want to do especially with the way the prices are right now. We need at the yield we can get.”

With prices still in a low point, the risk of having to plant short season corn is causing some anxiety.

“The main thing is that they are making sure equipment is ready to go so that when the conditions are right they can get out there, it will go smoothly,” Seymour said.

It is still early to be able to tell how these conditions will affect yields.

For farmers who have been more impacted by flooding, they can contact the UNL Extension offices for support and they can get people in contact with the proper federal organizations.