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Published March 20, 2013, 06:23 PM

Lake Region Farmers Concerned About Flooding Effect on Growing Season

Today is the first day of Spring, but you wouldn't be able to tell that by looking out a window. All the snow on the ground is threatening to put a hamper on the crop growing season for lake region farmers.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Today is the first day of Spring, but you wouldn't be able to tell that by looking out a window. All the snow on the ground is threatening to put a hamper on the crop growing season for lake region farmers.

Ag experts are worried the snow and the cold could delay planting time-sensitive crops and erase gains farmers have made in the Devils Lake flood fight.

Farmers say they like to get corn in by late April. They predict they won't get corn in the ground until three weeks after that.

Loren Nelson, USDA: "The later it is, pretty soon you get into the flowering period where the heat gets it. Sometimes that impacts yields as well."

Ag experts say for now the best weather condition would be a slow warmup. Heating up too fast can cause more problems.

Loren: "...A lot more runoff. The water runs to the lower spots. You get a lot more wet areas.:

Farmers are already resigned to the fact that that they'll lose land this year when Devils Lake rises in the spring.

Roy Kenner: "We're going to lose a few acres I think. Hopefully crop insurance will cover some of that."

Rick Mertens, High Country Seed: "With the dry conditions last year, there was a lot of work into getting land back that hadn't been farmed for a while. Unfortunately with the snow pack we've got and the lake rising, we'll probably see most of that lost."

But experts say if we avoid much more snow and have a good summer, growing season still could be successful.

Loren: "Too early to tell yet. Depending on how the spring goes."

Roy: "Hope that it's a late fall. That's what you've got to hope for."

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