Wet spring means a troubling start for the planting season

By Roger Sadler

May 28, 2013 Updated May 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM CDT

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. -- This wet spring weather has Central Illinois Farmers getting to a troubling start for the 2013 planting season.

By late May, farmer Fred Grieder of Carlock in usually has all of his soybeans planted. This year he has only planted about half. His 1,700 acres have often been too wet to plant but he says it's not as bad as it looks.

"At this point, there probably hasn't been much permanent damage,” said Grieder. “Repeated events will tend to drown out those low areas, so it's not ideal."

It's not a death sentence. Farmers usually have through about July 1 to plant beans, if they need to.

Just down the road in Bloomington, this week's rains have ruined only a small part of Scott Hoeft's corn crop.

"I'll have some spots right now where the water's gonna stand for two or three days,” said Hoeft. “Those spots will drown out."

Hoeft is feeling pretty lucky. Only one to two percent of his corn crop has been washed out by the rain this year. Other farmers in the area are not so lucky. A few miles away, another farm has 15 acres under water.

Back on Hoeft's farm, though, it's not time to panic, at least not yet.

"We'll still have a decent crop even though we've had a lot of rain and a lot of adverse conditions,” said Hoeft.

Fred Grieder says it's all a part of being a farmer.

"You really don't have much average weather,” he said. “You have drier than average, you have wetter than average."

In Tazewell County, the Farm Bureau says the corn crop is doing okay with about 90 percent planted but soybeans are far behind at about ten percent

Meanwhile, Hoeft says you just have to cope.

"If we get a chance, we'll come back in and replant those areas,” he said.

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