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Wet weather delays Clinton County planting

Posted on: 2:22 pm, May 28, 2013, by , updated on: 03:47pm, May 28, 2013

It’s too much of a good thing in Wheatland, Iowa. That’s as Iowa farmers rush to plant the last 15% of the corn crop.

“It’s been a struggle right in this area,” said second generation farmer Todd Rohling.

Rohling just planted a field on Friday. But after heavy rain dumped another three inches over the weekend, he’s battling a muddy mess to finish.

“It’s been touch and go,” he said. “You just have to sit and wait for the fields to dry.”

It’s quite a contrast from last year.

“This corn, it looks really bad,” said visiting farmer Rafael Kummel in August 2012.

That’s when Brazilian farmers studies the drought. Dennis Campbell’s Grand Mound farm offered an outdoor lab.

“There’s zero kernels,” he said.

They were peeling parched corn and wishing for wet weather.

That remarkable transition from drought to deluge puts added pressure on area growers. It makes coming days even more important.

“Here we are, end of May,” said Campbell. “We have really struggled to get this crop in the ground.”

Campbell needs to squeeze in two days of planting. That creates more urgency. Wet weather and mud also take a toll on building a new hog confinement.

“It’s been a tremendously different season as compared to last year,” he said.

Back in Wheatland, they’re racing against the calendar. But with more rain on the way, dealing with delays. It’s possible that some acres won’t get planted at all.

“We definitely need to get it wrapped up,” Rohling concluded.

Too much of a good thing that’s really testing farmers.