Rain delay on the fields

If you look at the calendar, you can see we are almost to may. Now is the time when farmers in our area are supposed to be heading to their fields to start planting.

But no surprise here, many can’t do that all because of the cold wet spring we’ve had.

“It’s staying dry.”

Erwin Johnson’s corn planter is just sitting in his barn.

“Most farmers in the Charles City area have not even hardly been out in the field period. Tillage, planting, zero. Just been too wet, too cold,” says Johnson.

While the Charles City farmer has been waiting patiently to get his corn in the ground, he has managed to do a little field work.

About 10 days ago he planted 30 acres of oats. But says all the rain ahead shouldn’t harm that crop.

“It’s actually probably good for them as long as it doesn’t stay super cold. Oats can handle cooler temperatures.”

Ideal corn planting is from about April 25 to about the 10th of May, while the conditions aren’t ideal to do that work, Johnson is staying positive and says as a farmer he has to stay hopeful.

“The good news is we’re getting the moisture, the bad news is we’re getting so much moisture that we’re not able to get out and work the fields and get our seeds planted.”

As long as we’re looking for the upside to all this rain and cold, having such cool weather is keeping tornadoes at bay in the state.

Steve O’Neil, the Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Coordinator says, “Without the clear skies and the heat being able to charge up the atmosphere the storms can’t build as much power.”

While the weather is not ideal for severe weather it’s still possible, so folks should always be prepared.

“The weather can break at any time and all it takes is one day the temperatures kick up real good and the air is unstable and we’re in severe weather,” adds O’Neil.

As far as predicting what will happen, Johnson prefers to live by a proverb.

“You can control the wind, I can’t control the rain, the rain is going to come, but I can adjust the sails, in other words there’s things that I have to prepare for as a farmer,” adds Johnson.

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