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Cold April Pushes Back Planting Season



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Spring in the Midwest has seemed a lot more like winter this year. And a late start to spring means a late start to farming.

 

36 rows at a time, Joe Blindauer plants corn on his farm north of Mitchell. The ground still a little too cool for what Blindauer and his brother, Chad, like to normally plant in.


There hasn't been a colder April recorded in Mitchell in over a hundred years.  

 

“The soil temps are still pretty cold,” said Chad Blindauer.

 

On a normal year planting would have started in mid-April.

 

“You want your soil temps over 50 degrees at planting depth. And we're not there yet. If it warms up this week, we should get their pretty quick,” said Blindauer.

 

But, a normal year is something that has been rare recently. Two years ago, the Blindauer's dealt with heavy rains. Last year, with the help of warm weather, seeds were in the ground early. Only to be affected by a drought.

 

But the Blindauers had a better year in 2012. Thanks to some stored up soil moisture.

 

“This year we don't have that to fall back on. So, we are definitely going to need some timely rains throughout the growing season,” said Blindauer.

 

A few weeks late, these brothers start to plant corn. Once all the seeds are in the ground, they'll hope for what farmers have been looking for the last year and a half, rain. 

 

“If we don't get them, we're looking at last year all over again,” said Blindauer.

 

For now, the tractor keeps on moving and these farmers deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

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