Farmers Have Mixed Feelings About Warm Winter
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
January 04, 2012 10:29 PM
Golfers have been hitting the links and South Dakota cities are saving on their snow removal budget, but the warm weather is starting to make farmers nervous.
“I'm 83 years old and I never have,” said Marion Van Zandbergen, when asked about the warm winter.
Randy Van Kalsbeek of Iowa said called the weather is “strange, a nice strange though.”
While South Dakota in January usually is covered with a layer of snow, warm temperatures have left corn and soybean fields thawed and bare.
“If we don’t start getting some snow or rain, we're in deep trouble,” said Willis Lienart, a farmer worried about his crop yields this year.
“We may have to cut back on population. This is not a good scenario,” said Lienart.
Dry fields this winter has farmers hoping for some frozen precipitation.
“It takes 1-foot of snow to make 1-inch of moisture. But, we don’t have any moisture,” said Lienart.
While the warm dry weather may be problematic for farmers in the future, it keeps more money in their wallets for the time being.
“It's really nice for the heating bill,” said Zanderbergen.
Along with the heat the warm weather helps livestock.
“It saves on bedding and feed. Making the gain a lot better and it’s a lot less work,” said Van Kalsbeek.
A blessing for some who are getting extra work done, but without the typical South Dakota winter, yields may suffer this year.