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Published March 22, 2012, 04:16 PM

Farmers Get Ready to Plant Crops Near Oslo

NEAR OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some farmers are already out in fields getting their crops planted a little earlier than usual.

NEAR OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some farmers are already out in fields getting their crops planted a little earlier than usual.

Others are more cautious and waiting until April because of the possibility of a late frost.

David and Jim Nelson's farm is usually surrounded by water right now.

"It basically gets like the farm here, we're stranded for two weeks so that gets to be pretty old. It screws up all the roads so we can't get from farm to farm to work on stuff," David said.

This time of year the Nelson's are usually helping sandbag because of rising flood waters, this year they have more time to get equipment ready and get crops in a little earlier.

"Basically getting all the equipment ready, the tractors, cultivators, planters, beet drill, stuff like that," David said.

The Nelsons have 3,600 acres and aren't quite ready to plant their wheat, barley, soybeans, dry beans, sugar beets and corn. But they still expect to get their crops in the ground more than two months earlier than they did last year.

"Usually if we can get started about the middle of April. Seems like that's a good time for us," Jim said.

Despite the warm weather, extension agents say it may be smart to wait a little longer to plant crops.

"The concern on that is what the weather's going to be like ahead of us and we don't know that. Likely the seed going in the ground now is going to be just fine but there's risk factors with that if we get a late frost, the grain comes up, of course it could kill that and then they'll have to seed again," Grand Forks County Extension Agent Willie Huot said.

The Nelsons are taking that advice and hope this year's crops will be better than last years.

"It was the poorest production year we've ever had last year. It was planted late, the harvest gets bunched together and you do what you can," Jim said.

Extension agents say seeds don't start to germinate until the ground reaches 40 degrees. Right now the temperature is just over that at 41 degrees.

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