WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Time is ticking for farmers to get their corn crops planted. With such a wet April, and more rain in the forecast, farmers have been on stand-by.
"This soil at the surface is fairly crumbly," Purdue Agronomy Professor Tony Vyn explained Thursday.
But dig a little deeper and that's what is causing many farmers, like A.J. Booher, to be behind schedule this planting season.
"It gets just progressively wetter," Vyn said as he kept digging.
Booher and his family have been farming in the same location in Tippecanoe County for the past 149 years. He said every year Mother Nature gives them something different to work with.
"Of course next year will be our 150th season and when you grow up with it generation after generation, you become accustomed to all of the challenges Mother Nature throws at you," Booher said.
After heavy rain in April, it's a familiar story throughout Indiana. Vyn said only 1 percent of the Indiana corn crop is planted because farmers can't get into their muddy fields.
"If I can roll the soil and form a ribbon like this that's a quarter inch or so in diameter, then that tells me that for this soil it is still too wet," Vyn explained.
Last year at this time, Vyn said about 30 percent of corn was planted in Indiana by the end of April.
"In April of 2012, this area received 1.75 inches of rain and we had a very, very warm April," Vyn explained. "2013 is a completely different story. Instead, this area received nine inches of rain."
"Our entire lives revolved around the weather when you're a farmer and the thing is, you're just presented with different challenges all the time," Booher explained.
But Booher said although Mother Nature may not deal out the perfect hand every year, he said it's those challenges that keep him coming back for more.
"It's kind of fun and exciting," Booher said. "It's not a boring desk job and you get to enjoy this beautiful weather so that's definitely a plus."
Booher said although they haven't started planting yet, they've already started looking ahead to harvest season.
He said with such a wet spring, they'll need to plan on having wet corn during harvest.
Farmers typically have until June to finish planting soybeans.
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