Heavy rains keeping North Alabama farmers from planting crops

Heavy rains over the past two weeks are keeping the ground wet, causing planting delays for some farmers.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 7:41 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2021 8:16 PM

Heavy rains over the past two weeks are keeping the ground wet, causing planting delays for some farmers.

Henderson Farms owner Stuart Sanderson said Friday that normally the farm would have planted the corn crop seven to 10 days ago, but heavy rains have prevented them from doing that.

"The field to my right is bare-ground right now. Typically, this time of the year, we would already have some corn emerging from the ground," said Stuart Sanderson.

That's not the case this year, though.

In fact, all the corn seed is still in the shed along with the planters.

"It's obvious we've had several rounds of rain over the past few weeks. It's kind of gotten us behind," said Sanderson.

Particularly for planting the dry land corn.

"Once it gets around the middle of April, it gets borderline for us just because of the heat. We can plant it on towards the end of April. It's not the ideal situation," said Sanderson.

That's because there are certain timing windows to plant corn and soybeans in the Tennessee Valley, and for corn, that time is now.

"Our fallback if we don't get a lot of our corn planted, it'll probably go back to soybeans and we can do alright with soybeans, but we prefer to try and get the corn crop in," said Sanderson.

Current crops are also being impacted by all the rain, like the winter wheat.

"The winter wheat to my left is still doing okay. We've got a few low areas that's starting to get susceptible to a little bit of a wet foot, we call it in wheat," said Sanderson.

When the conditions are right, though, Sanderson says they will be ready to plant around 3,000 acres of corn.

"So, you know when it comes time to go, the dust will fly. The lights come on the equipment. We'll be rolling," said Sanderson.

Sanderson says not planting the corn crop right now will not affect them financially, but if the corn is still not planted three weeks from now because of weather, it could affect them.

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