County farmers OK after flood

Published 6:08 am Monday, September 27, 2010

Heavy rain and flooding throughout Mower County should not slow this year’s crop production, according to area farmers.

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Randy Stephenson with the Dexter Elevator thinks the heavy amounts of rain will not do any significant damage to area crops and should only push thing back about a week.

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“I think most crops weathered the storm fairly well,” Stephenson said.

“We hope that if the weather clears up we’ll be back in the fields and picking beans next week.”

Even with the heavy rains and flooding, crop harvesting should not suffer because farmers were already ahead of schedule.

“It should push things right back to on schedule,” Stephenson said. “What we really need is a frost to kill off the crops and dry things out.”

Last year, everything was pushed back about a month because of heavy rains in October, according to Stephenson.

Those conditions were an issue for the corn last year because of ear mold, Ron Vrieze said, farmer and Racine Township supervisor. If conditions dry up after this last rain, the area should not get it this year, he added. Vrieze is not worried that the recent conditions will have any implications.

The only crops damaged may be beans that are in heavy runoff areas, said Darcy Drahke-Papp of the Mower County Farm Bureau. Area farmers likely won’t know the loss until crops are pulled and yields are known.

However, any beans that are in standing water for too long can swell and crack open, according to Vrieze. The process of drying out and getting wet again is also not good for them. Farmers who lose crops to flooding may be out of luck because insurance will usually not cover that unless there is a major loss, about 40 percent or more.

Every year, area farmers hope to harvest beans during the last week of September and the first week of October. Corn, they hope to start harvesting by Oct. 10 and finish before November.

Both Stephenson and Drahke-Papp agreed that last year was a bad year because of all of the late-season rain. This year’s beans should be better than last year.

But they won’t be great, Drahke-Papp said, as beans don’t do well in damp conditions. The corn however, should do well.