Drought puts damper on spring planting season - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Drought puts damper on spring planting season

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

It's 2012 all over again as local farmers are preparing for another dry planting season. In fact, meteorologists say we still need 10 more inches of precipitation to get us out of the drought.

"We'd really be a lot more comfortable if we could get some precipitation before Spring," said Adams County Farmer Dennis Dempsey.

Dempsey says just like last year, the soil moisture continues to be a problem.

"It may look damp out now with the little moisture that we've had, but the sub-soil moisture is still gone."

And, to make up for the drought conditions, University of Illinois Ag Expert Mike Roegge says we need a considerable amount of rain.

"If we don't get above normal precipitation in 2013 there's really no way we can expect to get normal crops simply because we don't have the soil moisture supply to sustain a crop," said Roegge.

That's something that has Dempsey concerned.

"If I had one to worry about, I'd say I worry about the corn most," explained Dempsey.

Farmers aren't the only ones concerned about another rough planting season, consumers are worried about higher prices at the grocery store, especially beef.

"Because of the dry conditions in the southern United States and the south west United States we saw a loss of beef numbers and now we're seeing higher beef prices as a result of that," said Roegge.

With 3 months to go until Spring planting season, farmers say they're trying to remain optimistic.

"That's our plan anyway, Is not to concentrate on last year and just hope for better things this year," said Dempsey.

Roegge says although meat prices have slowly gone up, you should not see a drastic increase in other groceries. He says very few staples are directly impacted by corn and soybean prices.

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