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May 06, 2011 10:01 PM

Planting Season Coming Slowly

Near Parker, SD

Friday's warmer weather was certainly a relief for local farmers. But, that doesn't mean they can begin planting quite yet. And the long winter has pushed some projects back by months.

Like any farmer, Jim Bones spends his day doing whatever he can to help his crops. But, in this case, driving around in his floater is something he should've done a while ago.

"We're spreading fertilizer on wheat that should've been done back in February," Bones said. "It's just been too wet to get after it. And we're just trying to do the best we can right now."

The cold and snow have also put a damper on his planting season. Bones says he's at least one week away from planting corn.

"It's just been long," Bones said. "It's cold, it's wet. The last 2.5 inches of rain really put us behind schedule right around Easter, so we're probably two weeks behind normal."

Bones says this past winter wasn't really anything too out of the ordinary. South Dakota farmers simply have to deal with this kind of weather every single year.

"It's just too wet and too sticky," Bones said. "You do more damage by working the ground wet than just having a little patience. So, we're hoping the weather will cooperate."

And while Friday's sunshine and wind will likely give way to more wet weather next week, Bones knows he's luckier than most.

"It could be a lot worse," Bones said. "We're fortunate to be able to do something here. There's a lot of people up north where it's just been too wet and some are underwater. So, we're pretty fortunate."

Bones says most of his neighbors have yet to do any planting as well. He says if you try and work around the mud, you could end up doing even more damage to your crops.

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