CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Some farmers in the Heartland are weeks behind schedule because of ongoing wet weather, and with more rain and river flooding in the forecast tensions are running high.
Farmers run the risk of losing their crops or their farm equipment if they try to work fields during wet conditions, so waiting for drier conditions is sometimes their only option.
Kevin Mainord is the location manager at Sanders in East Prairie, Missouri and also helps farm about 10,000 acres of land in several southeast Missouri counties.
In discussions with other growers he believes most areas have not seen a fully dry week of weather since October of last year.
“In times like these people get anxious very quick because things economically aren’t well,” Mainord said. “There were a lot of ruts that were made in the field when the crops were harvested. So we’re not only trying to catch up from the Fall, we’re trying to catch up in planting the Spring crop.”
Mainord says the month of May is crunch time to get certain crops like corn and cotton in the ground.
“I think we are probably three to four weeks behind,” he said. “I don’t think there has been very little cotton planted and very little corn planted at this time.”
Mainord says the muddy, rainy weather has not paired well with changes in the marketplace because prices have been dropping for commonly grown crops in the Heartland, especially soybeans
“Going into this year prices weren’t good so farmers were not enthusiastic about the opportunity to make a profit this year,” Mainord said. “Soybeans are not a high revenue generator for a lot of farmers, but they are a backup and unfortunately it will be the only back up that we have."
Not only is the problem falling from the sky, the water is also seeping up through the ground because of rising rivers.
“And equipment is so heavy sometimes it just falls through the top layer of soil,” Mainord said. “Anytime you’ve got something stuck and you’re trying to pull it out you always take a chance on tearing something up and equipment these days is not cheap.”
Mainord says he is constantly checking the weather forecast and hopes this wet trend does not continue.
“We just have to hope and pray we get some dry weather that maybe now is not predicted, but maybe that changes,” he said.
On the bright side new farming technology can allow agriculture operations to fit in a week’s worth of work in just a few dry days.