Weather causes planting delays - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Weather causes planting delays

Mark Gwines, a local farmer Mark Gwines, a local farmer
Scott Carlson, Worth County Extension Agent Scott Carlson, Worth County Extension Agent
Saturated soil and struggling crops Saturated soil and struggling crops
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Some Georgia farmers are a little behind in planting cotton and peanuts this year. Heavy rain and cool temperatures over the last couple of months caused planting delays and complications with some crops.

Warm temperatures in January had farmers thinking spring would come early this year. But months of wet weather has left planters struggling to get started, which would lead to a last minute scramble as farmers get their crops ready for growing season.

This field of sprouting crops may lead many to believe farmers are right on schedule this year. But a closer look at the idle tractors and saturated soil may show a different story.

"Well, the wet weather kind of help up on the field work a little bit.  Usually most everybody's a little farther along planting the first of May than what we are anyway," said Mark Gwines a local farmer. 

Farmers are planting cotton and peanuts a little later this year because of excess rain and cold temperatures. 

Farmers say all the rain has put the soil at a really good moisture point.  But they're also saying that the cooler temperatures are causing further delays. 

Freezing temperatures damaged some crops earlier in the year and have lowered soil temperatures.

"We had some freeze damage on wheat in February, and that's about the only damage the cold has caused so far.  Uh, we could use some warmer temperatures on planting.  Soil temperature is a little borderline right now for cotton and peanuts I would say," explained Mark Gwines. 

Many farmers are delaying planting because cold, wet conditions can lead to seedling disease which kills crops.

"As far as the moisture, it's very good.  But the cool temperatures and the moisture together will increase the disease pressure, and the chances for having disease early on in the season," said Scott Carlosn a Worth County Extension Agent. 

Gwines says the later planting season shouldn't cause a spike in costs, but says farmers may be subjected to higher labor costs as planters scramble to spread seeds before growing season.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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