Moisture and Sun Helping Farmers - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Moisture and Sun Helping Farmers

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HUNTLEY - Some farmers planted later this season because of the cold winter, and the recent hail and cold caused a few problems. But, farmers say they're grateful for the moisture.

Farmers say the cold winter weather has hampered spring growth a bit. The recent hail also hurt some of their crops.

"Hail always scares us because that's a destroying element of weather that can completely eliminate your crop for this year," said Leroy Gabel, a sugar beet farmer.

Gabel said the hail did some damage to the leaves, but he doesn't have to replant. He also said all of the moisture this spring is a good thing.

"We planted in the moisture conditions this year and we've got some timely rains," he said.

He said last year's weather was too dry. This year winter wheat crops are thriving because of the soil's moisture content.

"We had excellent moisture this spring and last fall," Gabel said. "We had moisture that brought it up and we had enough snow cover this winter that protected it from freeze damage and so far this spring, winter wheat is the bright spot in the agriculture world, at least in Montana."

Gabel said things are looking good - his sugar beets have been planted and sprayed. In fact, he said sugar beet planting is almost 99 percent complete throughout the entire state.

Gabel said corn, malt barley, and sugar beets were planted later in the season. If we continue to get sunshine, the crops that were planted later will catch up quickly.

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