Heavy Spring Rains Plague Local Farmers

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By Nick Hausen

FRANKLIN COUNTY --  The weather hasn't been kind to corn, soybeans and wheat this season. Too much rain in the spring and in recent weeks, a slight dry spell. Some farmers have been forced to replant several times, while others have seen disease hit their crops.

"It's like you never get done," explained Franklin County farmer Chris Menckowski. "It's a vicious circle."

Menckowski has spent the spring and early summer planting and replanting corn. After early season heavy rain washed out his fields, he's had to put seed in the ground three times in some areas.

"You want to get done so you can sit down and relax a little bit and take it easy, and get the beans, and get the weeds sprayed," explained Menckowski.

While he was trying to get corn in the ground, soybean planting ran behind and that lead to other issues throughout the summer.

"We've had some herbicide issues, wanting to burn the beans and set the beans back," said Menckowski. "So they ain't growing quite as fast they need to go to cover the rows up."

And Menchowski isn't the only farmer still seeing repercussions from the wet spring. On the other side of the county, Randy Browning says the entire planting season has been pushed back this year.

"By the time we got to planting beans, we should have been done," said Browning.

He farms more than 4,000 acres and says his beans are just barely out of the ground and that's after the cold wet spring plagued his wheat crop.

"Yields were pretty decent," explained Browning. "We had a lot of disease in it. Vomitoxin, low test weight. But the yields were anywhere from 60 to 90 something."

Vomitoxin causes wheat to garner a low price at market. Farmers stand to lose as much as $2 per bushel.

"The test weights going to be not as good, so you're going to get docked for that too," said Browning.

In addition to wheat coming down with disease. Prices for wheat and corn have dramatically dropped over the last month. Browning says if prices don't turn around by next year, you'll see a lot more fields filled with beans instead of corn.

Marion Regional
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