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Published April 25, 2011, 09:05 PM

Farmers Facing Later-than-normal Start to Planting

Red River Valley farmers are playing a fairly typical waiting game. A late, wet spring has kept them from getting into their fields. It will likely be at least 10 more days before they can start.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Red River Valley farmers are playing a fairly typical waiting game. A late, wet spring has kept them from getting into their fields.

The NDSU Extension Service expects it will be another ten days before they can start planting.

Mike Sweeney farms near Manvel, ND. His employees were keeping busy Monday washing pickups and even a bicycle. They would rather be getting the equipment dirty by getting the crops in the ground.

Sweeney farms barley, wheat and sugar beets. Those crops that will have to wait. The Grand Forks county extension office says farmers are five days past the average planting start and expect it will be at least another 10 days. Longer for those fields that are still under water near the river.

Grand Forks County Extension Agent: If you plant beyond the middle of May, you are going to lose about one percent of your crop per day," GF county extension agent Willie Huot said.

About a third of Sweeney's farmland is near the Red River and still under water. He hopes to be in those fields by the end of next month.

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