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Spring's Heavy Rainfall Is Postponing Planting Season For Some Utah Farmers

Don Graham
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Corn crops in the midwest are severely impacted by extreme weather this spring. But in Cache County the crop is doing fine.

In parts of Utah, the heavy rainfall has created problems for farmers. Reports show that central Utah is experiencing its second wettest spring on record and planting had to be pushed back due to flooded fields. But in Cache County, a 10-day break in the weather allowed planting to happen mostly on time.

“In little Cache Valley, we’re not a big producer, but we think we’re going to be OK,” said Clark Israelsen, a USU Extension farm advisor who specializes in crop production. He said Utah’s main crops are alfalfa, silage corn, barley and wheat.

“We have had a little difficulty getting some of the crops planted because the storms just keep the fields muddy and we can’t get in,” Israelsen said. “We do have some corn still to be planted, and in a few cases, we even have a little bit of spring barley or alfalfa to plant, but quite honestly we’re pretty happy with the way things are.”

The cool temperatures during the rainy days are beneficial to pastures, barley and wheat. Crops that prefer warmer temperatures are suffering, but are expected to recuperate once temperatures rebound.

“Alfalfa has suffered a little bit, but probably the crop that has been impacted the most by cooler temperatures would be corn,” Israelsen said. “Corn does very, very well with high degree temperatures. Even though it did get planted timely and started to grow, it’s pretty well stopped. It did need some heat.”