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Rain is putting dark cloud on farmers

Farmers are behind schedule and the rain isn’t helping.

Posted: May 13, 2018 8:27 AM

CLAREMONT, Minn. – The United States Department of Agriculture’s crop report states Minnesota farmers are having “favorable conditions” this far into May.

But farmers in Southeastern Minnesota say not so much.

“This time of the year it's depressing. It just really sets your whole schedule back. Typically for planting corn we'd like to be done in the middle of April,” Bruce Schmoll, a farmer in Claremont, said.

Bruce has yet to plant any seeds because of the rain. The Rochester area is seeing one of the rainiest Mays so far. As of May 9th, Rochester saw over three inches of rain when it typically sees about one inch of rain by May 9th.

Bruce said many farmers like himself have already paid for seed, fertilizer, and fuel and are itching to get planting.

“Think about all the dollars we have invested on a per acre basis, you know we can't change at this point,” he said. “Just see how much is on the line because of the weather.”

The delay in planting season can also have effects down the road like the corn we see in fall and whether or not farmers will make certain deadlines.

“When it comes to spraying herbicides…there is a limited window of opportunity to spray the product on top of them, the deadline is June 20th,” Bruce said. “The later we get in the field, the opportunity to spray may be past that time so we can’t spray those products.”

This has farmers working around the forecast, often late into the nights which could cause safety concerns.

“You can only put in so many hours day after day before it starts to catch up with you. Mistakes happen, accidents happen. So that’s another concern a lot of people have and need to be aware of,” Bruce said.

Bruce said he’s trying to stay optimistic and hopes to start planting after Mother’s Day.

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