Farmers stuck as wet spring prevents work in the fields

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

A wet spring has made it difficult for farmers to get into their fields to plant crops, or to do anything else for that matter. On May 30, a custom waste tractor and Myron Czech’s tractor got stuck in a field in Pike Creek Township while injecting liquid manure. A wrecker was able to anchor onto a township road and pull the two out. Czech said he’s got only about 30 percent of his corn crop planted and great alfalfa, but it’s too wet to cut and put up.

A wet spring has made it difficult for farmers to get into their fields to plant crops, or to do anything else for that matter. On May 30, a custom waste tractor and Myron Czech’s tractor got stuck in a field in Pike Creek Township while injecting liquid manure. A wrecker was able to anchor onto a township road and pull the two out. Czech said he’s got only about 30 percent of his corn crop planted and great alfalfa, but it’s too wet to cut and put up.

It has been the wettest spring farmer Myron Czech can remember for as long as he’s been farming. And he’s been farming since 1980.

At this time last year, despite the wet spring, Czech said they were finished planting.

“Last year, we had a wet spring, but it was following a very dry winter, so the ground could hold the water,” Czech said.

“This year, we had several large snows late in the spring and we were happy to get them to replenish the moisture. But then, it turned to rain and the rains kept coming.”

The ground is totally saturated, he said.

“It went completely opposite — from dangerously dry last fall to the wettest spring I can remember, just six months later,” Czech said.

At the end of May, one of Czech’s tractors and a custom waste tractor were stuck in a field in Pike Creek Township up past the middle part of the tractor tire. A wrecker anchored on to a township road was able to pull the two vehicles out of the mud.

“That’s pretty typical of what the fields were like last week,” Czech said Wednesday. “The fields were looking better until Monday.”

“Things were just about ready and really starting to go Sunday and Monday,” he said. “Then Tuesday, the rain kind of set things back to where they were before.”

Where things are is that only 30 percent of Czech’s 850 acres of corn has been planted.

“If we can plant within the next week or so, it should make decent silage,” he said.

Czech grows the corn to feed his 500 head of dairy cows on the farm he and his wife, Debbie, run, called Pike Hills Dairy. “It’s all used for animal feed,” he said.

The alfalfa crop is “tremendous” Czech said.

“It’s too wet to get out there and cut it,” he said. “We really need to get at it in the next few days to get decent, quality feed.”

If farmers can’t, lower quality alfalfa will be harvested. Czech said that the lower quality alfalfa will be fed to heifers as opposed to the milk cows.

On the bright side, he said, farmers can get four cuttings of alfalfa.

“Just because the first cutting isn’t good quality, doesn’t mean the next three won’t be,” said Czech. A positive attitude, he said is pretty standard for area farmers looking toward the remainder of the season.

During the first weekend in June, the Czechs’ daughter’s wedding was celebrated.

“The topic of the conversation at the wedding was about when we were ever going to get the crops in the ground and the hay up,” he said.

 

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