Farmers concerned over wet and cold weather - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Farmers concerned over wet and cold weather

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FRANKLIN CO. -- Farmers across the state are hoping for a change in the weather. The recent cold and rain is keeping them from getting in their fields.

Local farmers admit, while it's still early, they're starting to get anxious. 

In southern Illinois we've measured rainfall on 22 of the last 47 days. Franklin County farmer Chris Menckowski says all that rain has left his fields full of water, "As you can see, there is plenty of moisture. It just makes mud balls." 

Since he can't get out in the fields to spray for weeds or plant corn just yet, he's finding other ways to stay busy. 

"You'll find piddly jobs that you've been putting off for years or you do honey-do work," said Menckowski. 
 
As it flurried outside Monday, Menckowski stayed in the barn, working on his sprayer, changing filters and installing sprayer tips. He says he's hoping the sun dries and warms the soil soon. 

"It's cold. I don't know what the temperature of the soil is, but, it wouldn't do any good for me to even check it because I'm not interested until the sun comes out," said Menskowski. 

The News Three Weather Team says bare soil temperatures are in the low 40s. For corn to grow, soil temperatures need to be at least 50 degrees. Menckowski says he isn't too worried yet, but he doesn't want to wait much longer.

"I like to get started, get everything planted and you can kind of take your time and you ain't pushed to try and plant it all in two weeks versus where you have a month," said Menckowski. 

Because he says when you rush to get it in the fields, you have to rush to get it out come harvest time. 

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