Wet weather forcing some farmers to switch crops - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Wet weather forcing some farmers to switch crops

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MARION COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) -

What a difference a year makes. Last year, corn was planted in March and every farmer was praying for rain. Monday, farmers are hoping for sunshine to dry out their fields so they can begin planting.  Recent numbers show nationwide, corn planting is at its slowest pace in almost 30 years.

Marion County agriculutre experts say last year at this time, Missouri had almost 75% of its corn planted, but this year it's only around 15%.  Farmers know if they don't plant soon, it can mean heavy losses at harvest time. 

Farmer Mike Lovelace says he along with many other farmers are waiting for the soil dry so he can start planting... In fact, he's already had to change his plans. 
"I've got some river bottom that will most likely not go into corn, it'll probably switch to beans," he said.  However it's not something Lovelace is anxious to do. 

"Well historically, corn has made a few more dollars per acre than soybeans," Lovelace said.  
For Lovelace to get corn planted in other fields, he says he's going to have to do a lot more work than he originally thought. 

"Yeah it'll be a problem.  And the weeds prevent it from drying because it shades the ground. I'll probably have to do more spraying than I planned on and a lot more tillage than what I planned on," he said.  
Marion County Farm Bureau President Ralph Griesbaum said there's a real possibility corn farmers are already losing money. 
"In an average year, your best corn is typically planted in April and in the first week of May so we're looking at more than likely a yield reduction and there will be a certain amount of income that will be limited," Griesbaum said.  
Lovelace said despite the fact he hasn't been able to plant his crops, he's still optimistic. 
"An old farmer neighbor told me once and I haven't forgotten it yet, boy you'll grow more in a wet year than in a dry year," he said. 

Griesbaum says if the weather cooperates for the next ten days, farmers can still have a good year, but if wet weather continues, he says it could be a tough season. 

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