Delay in Spring Planting from Winter Weather - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Delay in Spring Planting from Winter Weather

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MOLT, Mont. -

Some farmers are delaying planting because of the recent wet weather.

"Obviously a record setting year for snow and then a lot has melted all at once and I know flooding has played a big part out here," Justin Downs, a farmer in Molt, said. "We've got a lot of culverts put back in and fields with big washes in them."

Downs raises winter wheat, barley, peas, and other crops. Typically, after an average winter, grains planting would start in mid-March. But early this March, his fields were flooded, cutting ditches in the fields. Now, farmers have to work harder to get crops planted on time.

"It's still wet," Downs said. "We tried getting up in the field today and stuck the pickup so we're still quite a ways away from being able to get any equipment out there."

Downs isn't worried though. It's still not too late to get started, especially with the warmer weather in the forecast for next week.

"That's what we're keeping our fingers crossed for is that it'll stay dry now for a little bit so some of these guys can get their crops in," said Steve Lackman, MSU agricultural extension agent. "They're a little behind but they're very happy that there's moisture in the ground for that seed."

They say moisture is much better than drought.

"Everybody wants to get a crop in early, get growing while we have some rain coming down," Downs said. "We never cuss this moisture. It could be gone in a week"

Downs says the best plan is to be prepared and be flexible enough to work with the weather.

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