Farmers say fields are simultaneously too wet and too dry

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Fields look too wet and too muddy, but farmers say just below the surface, it's too dry to even consider planting yet.

Local farmers at Wednesday's Cover Crop Field Day in Rock Island County talked about how they aren't able to start planting until it starts warming up outside.

"The main concern this year is the lateness of the season and the amount of frost that we've had and the amount of snow cover this winter. We're looking at possible delays on planting time for farmers to get to the field and plant their crops this year," said Joe Gates who works for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Even with all the snow this winter, farmers are seeing that their fields are still too dry.

"We did have a lot of snow this winter but the ground froze early and it stayed frozen all winter so when the snow melted this spring it didn't really soak into the ground and it all kinda ran off," Gates said.

Phil Fuhr is a local farmer with hundreds of bags of seed corn that he needs to plant. Fuhr tried getting out to start tillage and fertilization on Wednesday, but couldn't because the topsoil was too wet.

"It's still a little wet, it's still a little cold. [We're] just trying to get started," Fuhr said. "If it materializes into one to two inches of rain, it'll probably set us back into later next week."

Now is when farmers normally try to start planting their crops, but with the frozen ground and the next few days of rainfall, they will have to wait a while longer.

"Anything can happen. Mother Nature will always throw you a curve ball every year, we'll just have to wait and see how the spring plays out," Fuhr said.

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