This is crunch time at Country Corner in Alpha, Illinois.
“First of all, it was too cold to plant,” said owner Bruce Curry. “And then, it’s been pretty wet.”
Extreme weather makes a difference. Local grower Curry planted three weeks early last year. This year, he’s three weeks late.
On Monday, the crew was planting 1,500 watermelon seedlings. It will be the busiest day for planting at the popular Henry County farm.
“We’re just going to keep plopping them in,” said Brian Allen. “Keep on moving.”
Weather setbacks are slowing down crops like tomatoes. Plants should be knee-high by now, but they are much shorter.
“Normally, I plant in here the 15th of April, and I planted in here about the 2nd of May,” Curry said.
With all the delays, hands-on work depends on quickness. Faster planting leads to higher profits. They’re trying to make up for lost time.
“I move as fast as I can,” said Allen, between watermelon plants.
The crew will be working from sunrise to sunset. The 70-day growing season will push back harvesting.
“Putting in 1,500, you’ve got to move quicker,” Allen said.
They planted sweet corn on April 24. Usually ready by July 4, it will likely be later this year.
“We just need nice 85-degree weather,” Curry concluded. “Everything will be perfect.”
Perfect for the crew during crunch time at Country Corner.