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Farmers push to get crops planted after many delays from rain

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2019 at 2:24 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: A farmer plants seeds on Wednesday in Carlton on Waterport-Carlton Road. That sunny day gave farmers a chance to get their big equipment out in the fields.

Farmers have been kept out of their fields for much of the spring due to frequent rain.

This week there have been some sunny days without rain and that has allowed farmers to get seed in the ground.

They are still way behind schedule.

“If the rain continues it’s going to be tough,” said Jim Panek of Panek Farms, which grows corn, soybeans and peas on about 10,000 acres.

The farm has planted about 3,000 acres so far. Panek had a big day on Wednesday, planting 1,150 acres.

Jim Panek said farmers could use several dry days in a row to make lots of headway in planting.

A string of dry days has been hard to come by this spring.

“We’re running out of time,” said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Orleans and Monroe counties.

Farmers are pushing to get their crops planted by June 10. After that day, the yields begin to diminish.

Meyer said the amount of rainfall this spring is about the normal amount. What has been difficult for farmers is the number of days with rain.

“You never get enough days to dry out,” Meyer said. “We get one day where it looks good and then we get more rain. I’m sure there will be a lot of stuff that doesn’t get planted.”

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