• Last modified 2163 days ago (Aug. 15, 2013)


Crops ready for dry weather to return

Staff writer

Favorable rainfall that began in mid-July has begun to overstay its welcome by early August.

Local farmers have seen their crops benefit from the early rain, but worry excess water could drown the plants.

“For the alfalfa, the rain has been good for it, but it really can’t handle anymore,” said Brad Wiens, a farmer who lives near Hillsboro. “Most of the rain we’re getting now’s not soaking, it’s just running off.”

Joel Suderman, who is growing soybeans a mile west of Aulne, said his plants are blooming, but warmer weather could only help.

“Because of the rain, I’m not getting crops planted and weeds are growing,” he said.

The ground had flooded in other low areas where beans were growing. Marion County Extension Agent Rickey Roberts said the plants should still recover.

“I think they’ll rebound some,” he said. “They’ll bloom some more, and I think they’ll make some pods, but it wasn’t an ideal situation.”

In the meantime, Suderman has planted a mix of cover crops to conserve the soil.

“We’re finding more and more that soil health is reliant on keeping something growing all the time,” he said.

If the weather does dry up, the harvest could be one of the best in recent years.

“A lot of the hay crop is going to be good, a bigger cutting than it has been in three or four years,” Wiens said. “I think with the amount of hay being cut, we’ll be in good shape for cattle.”

Roberts said the corn crop is also set up for a good harvest.

“The yield has already been determined really, it’s just a matter of getting the crop finished while we can go get it,” he said. “I just hope that all the water doesn’t create a problem in the stalk of that plant where we can’t go get it.”

Last modified Aug. 15, 2013