Spring has had a longer cool snap than usual. Farmers, like Curry Parker, had to postpone planting season.
“This time last year, we were 80% through with cotton and peanuts,” explained Parker, a local farmer.
Now, he has planted barely half that and the cold, wet weather is to blame.
Extension Agronomist, Kris Balkcom, said, “This is unusually cold. I think we set a record low temperature this morning. I think it was 44 degrees.”
Not only did the weather interrupt planting, but it also delayed growth.
Parker said, “It took the cotton 10 to 11 days to come up and peanuts that we planted two weeks ago are just cracking the ground so that's way too long. That’s when I worry about seed disease.”
The ideal soil temperature to plant is 65 degrees, but the cooler weather dropped it to the 50’s. Parker said he will continue to plant, whether Mother Nature likes it or not.
“When may comes, I don't look at the ground temperature or the air temperature. We start planting. It's time to plant. It’s spring,” he stated.
The rain was not a big problem. However, farmers only hope for a more limited amount.
“Here, it doesn't really hurt. We won't turn down rain one day a week. We like having the soil moisture that we've got,” said Balkcom.
Farmers may be a bit behind schedule, but they will plant just as many crops as they did last year.