Spring planting is off to a slow start

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – It has always been said that April showers bring May flowers, however this year it seems like there has only been more rain.

The wet spring we’ve seen has led to a number of farmers worrying about their future yields and how much they will be able to plant for the season.

Furleigh Farms in Clear Lake has been slowly moving away from corn and soybeans as their primary crops and they have started putting more of their eggs into the produce basket.

Their pick-your-own strawberry patch that they highlight during the summer is usually up and running by the 4th of July weekend, and owner Bob Furleigh says that because of the weather, they could be pushed back to the end of July.

As a generational family farm, wet springs are something Furleigh has seen over the years, but he says it never gets easier to deal with.

“Farmers are vulnerable to the weather,” he says, “and you get it in varying degrees of weather, which they can’t control.”

The lack of control is a concern for farmers across our area, including Chuck Grove, another farmer out of Clear Lake.

He says that because last spring was so touch and go with good weather, he knew he had to plan for the worse for whatever the conditions would be this year.

“It’s out of our control,” Grove says, “but the best and only relief we have is probably crop insurance and just having faith that it’s going to work for us somehow.”

Crop insurance helps gives farmers aid and assistance for any crops they might have lost from either a drought or oversaturation.

Both farmers say that insurance can go a long way, but it’s all about keeping a positive attitude and just hoping for the best.

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