Farmers in Lincoln County racing to get seed in before next rain shower


Tractor tires are finally turning in Lincoln County after a long, wet spring. 

Now it’s a mad dash to get seed in the ground before the next rain shower.

Lincoln county farmer Lynn Poppinga says, “been farming about 45 years. Never seen anything like this before.”

This might not look like much, but it’s a big moment for Lynn Poppinga. This is the very first seed he’s put in the ground in 2019.

“We’ve had wet years, but never to this extent. We’ve always gotten something in on time and maybe had to go back and replant some things, but never to where we couldn’t turn a wheel until, what is it, the 4th of June today,” Poppgina said.

Actually, June 5 and that’s only because Lincoln county missed out on forecasted rain showers last night.  Poppinga says he can’t plant the whole field Wednesday, just the hilly sections that have dried out.

“It’s been a long spring. A lot of it worked on your mind, what should I do next? You have to make the right decisions. By the 10th we’ll make a decision on corn. Beans, we’ll go to the 25th of June, around that date, so we have a couple of weeks on the soybean side,” Poppinga said.

Further south in Lincoln County, Brad and Joseph Barber are broken down in the field waiting for parts. But the brothers say it’s still good just to be in the field.

“We started May 23 which is probably two weeks late for us. We have 50 percent left to go, so we’re right in the ball Park and maybe even a little ahead of the game it feels like,” Brad Barber said.

To stay ahead of the game, the Barber’s will work nearly around the clock until their 1,200 acres are planted.

“I got home at like two in the morning last night. Been going and going as long as you can, when you can go,” Brad Barber said.

Planting this late carries extra risks. Poppinga says he had to look at everything from crop insurance angles to fertilizer and even changing seed on the fly.

“On corn, we went from 102 day corn to 93 day. Like I say, we haven’t planted any corn yet so we’re hoping by the end of the week we can get a little something in,” Poppinga said.

No matter what, both farmers say they’re trying to stay optimistic.

“It’s our job to put seed in the ground,” Poppinga said.

“We’re pretty optimistic, not too scared yet, this kind of weather makes prices go better. It’s better than a drought,” Barber said.

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