2017-05-17 / Front Page

Farmers To Be In Fields This Week

After three weeks of wet, cool weather, Fulton County farmers will be in the fields this week, said Eric Richer, Fulton County agricultural extension agent.

County farmers did get a few acres planted in April, “then Mother Nature took over, and it stayed wet and cool. It kept us out of the fields,” he said.

But that will change this week, as weather forecasters are looking for temperatures in the 70-and 80-degree range.

The National Weather Service predicts slight chances of thunderstorms through Friday.

Farmers who didn’t plant in April were probably thankful they didn’t, Richer said.

Corn that was planted early has emerged, although the plants are yellow compared to a more healthy green.

But he expects the plants will produce a crop.

One question that will be answered this week is replanting.

Several portions of fields were under water. If those submerged areas were planted, the seeds probably didn’t survive.

Those areas may be replanted.

Wheat

If you’ve noticed there aren’t many wheat fields around, your observation is correct.

Richer said based on Farm Service Agency information, county farmers planted fewer wheat acres than the last 10 years.

Last fall, just over 9,500 acres were planted countywide.

Four years ago, the figure was 16,000 acres.

The low number for wheat fields is basically a function of economics, Richer said. The profit potential in wheat isn’t good.

He said those who did plant wheat were probably livestock farmers who need straw for animal bedding or forage.

Or they needed a place to spread manure in the late summer.

Another reason for planting wheat is that a farmer plans to install subsurface drainage, or field tile, in late summer after the wheat harvest. Roads

Motorists driving around the county will see farmers moving tractors and implements from field to field.

“Share the road,” Richer said.

Pull over, and allow large pieces of farm equipment to pass. Farmers know how to do likewise, he said.

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