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Stressful season weighs on farmers

DEER CREEK – Farmers from all directions are facing the same problem in 2019: a stressful growing season.

Mike Wurmnest, who farms around Deer Creek, Eureka and Morton, had a spring he would like to forget with some crops planted in April but much of them going into the ground in June.

“Our crops went in on the wet side but we did get everything planted,” Wurmnest said during last week’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

Wurmnest has neighbors who took prevent plant coverage on ground he thought would always have a crop growing on it. He expects his corn planted in the middle of May to be close to average but corn planted in June will likely be below average due to a lack of moisture.

Terry Smith farms in the western part of the state and describes this growing season as “late and slow.” Very little of his corn was planted in April and soybeans mostly went into the ground during June.

“The crop is late, it’s thin, it’s drowned out – it’s not a pretty crop this year,” Smith noted.

Smith has observed yield checks ranging anywhere from 0 to 220 bushels per acre, all depending on where tile is the best or worst in a field.

“I’m probably going to be 20-30 bushel below my 10 year average.”

Smith predicts a late harvest this year as he may not start until the middle of October and doesn’t expect to be finished by Thanksgiving.

Jim Raben, who farms near Ridgway in the southern part of the state, agrees that 2019 has been a very challenging year with crops varying from good to poor in his region. Raben heard of one grower in his area cutting beans already. They were reportedly 25 bushel less than last year.

“In a good year, we would be shelling corn but since we’ve only got about a half crop, there’s no need to get in a hurry and spend money drying,” Raben admits.

Raben planted his first corn in May and many of his soybeans went into mud.

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