Planting delays: “It is very serious”

Local News

Drier days are finally ahead for farmers in KELOLAND. 

But the bad news is the cold wet spring has pushed many farmers behind schedule. 

The latest report from the USDA says only 25 percent of the state’s corn is in, and 6 percent of the soybeans are in the ground. 

Scott VanderWal would like to see his tractor wheels turning. . 

“But because of the wet weather, the incessant snow and rain and cold weather we just haven’t been able to get in,” Scott VanderWal said. 

The Volga farmer and president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau only has 10 percent of his corn in the ground and no soybeans. 

Normally, this time of year he’d be done planting. 

The South Dakota Farm Bureau is working with leaders at the national level and in Congress on multiple issues, including advocating for more ways for farmers to qualify for the Market Facilitation Program, which assists producers hurt by the trade war. 

As farmers wait for answers from Washington, there’s plenty to think about here at home. 

VanderWal says he’ll be surprised if he gets 50 percent of his crop in. 

For others, it could be less. 

“It is very serious. We’re talking about the livelihood of families, a lot of young families with kids who are trying to make a living and get their mortgages paid off and maybe they’ve bought or rented land. It’s going to be very difficult, even with preventive planting payments for them to make it,” VanderWal said. 

Farmers aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about the current conditions.

The executive director of the South Dakota Farm Bureau says if it affects farmers, it affects you. 

“We will see impacts that are throughout the state, whether you’re living in the center of Sioux Falls or in a small town in some place in South Dakota. The purchasing power that our farmers have when they’re doing well really does make a difference in these communities,” Krystil Smit said. 

Smit says they’ve seen an uptick in farmers calling their office about concerns. 

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