KELOLAND farmers are feeling plenty of pressure and it's only planting season. However, with a wet, cold start to the year and more rain in the forecast, the stress continues to build. That means they're making the most of their time while the sun is shining. Tractors and planters are covering many acres this week all around KELOLAND. The fieldwork is overdue for some.
"The corn going in at this date, maybe we've already given up some yield. It's already not perfect and you just keep pursuing it, doing the best you can," Joe Burns said.
Burns has 300 more acres of corn to plant. After that he plans to start planting beans. Right now, he's just glad to see the sun shining because he also needs to spray and fertilize many fields.
"You know, days like today and until Thursday or until it rains again, there are tons of things to do," Burns said.
The possible rain later this week is a bit worrying for Burns. Farmers need to get corn planted soon or they may have to change their plans. He says the clock is ticking, but it's not quite do or die.
"I mean, you can still take your corn acres and go to beans maybe. There's a lot of alternative yet. It's not desperate, it's not that desperate," Burns said.
For farmers like Burns, there is a lot of risk they'll have to deal with for the rest of the summer. That means everything will have to go right for this planting to pay off.
“You try to hedge your bet by doing a lot of hard work and things, but it's a lot like that. I don't do a lot of gambling besides this," Burns said.
The difference is, for farmers, this is their livelihood and not a game of chance. And they're banking on a bountiful harvest come this fall.
Beans can be planted later because the plants take less time to grow and mature than corn. Burns adds that with a good week this week, he'll likely be caught back up.