(HOI) — It’s no secret, this year hasn’t been ideal for farmers in the Midwest.
From heavy rain delaying the start of planting to drought conditions stalling plant growth, farmers are behind.
“For the most part its anywhere between four to six weeks behind average. We’ve had such a horrendous spring, probably the worst spring on record, I know it was the worst spring for me ever. It snowed in April and it rained about a year’s worth of rain in about two months… it just seemed like nothing went right.” said Mike Hoeft, who farms land in Delavan.
Hoeft said he likes to have corn in the ground by April 15, but he didn’t drop a kernel in the ground until the April 26 and he still had major setbacks going forward.
“We planted about a day and a half then received about 10 inches of rain which set us out for about two and a half weeks, so we were delayed from the get-go. Then, we were able to plant another two or three days and then got another eight inches of rain,” said Hoeft.
So, how does delayed planting impact the farmer?
“Cost have increased significantly because your best laid plans of fertilizer, chemicals, and crop protection products all went out the window when we had the change up. At some point in time you just get tired of throwing money at a bad situation and say it’s going to be what it’s going to be and we are going to take our lumps,” said Hoeft.
Right now the farmers need hot and humid weather to help stimulate plant growth, but that’s not what Mother Nature has been throwing at us the last few weeks.
“To the average person driving down the road, they may look out the window of the car and think… well there’s crops out there that are green and they look great… what are these guys complaining about? But in the whole scheme of things they don’t understand that because we are so late our yield potential has been diminished. We’re expecting probably a 30 percent loss on soybean yields and corn… it’s anybody’s guess,” said Hoeft.
Hoeft said an early frost could devastate their crops, adding just one more worry to their season.
“When you do everything right beyond your control as far as the right seed, the right fertilizer, the right crop protection products and you do it on time to the best of your ability… 80 percent is up to mother nature,”said Hoeft.
Hoeft has been farming his family’s land his whole life,even though this is the worst season he has experienced, he’s not giving up.
“I’m in this until the day I die and that’s just fine because this is what I want to do,” said Hoeft.