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Planting Update: Straight Week of Rain Slows Indiana Progress

April 30, 2014
By: Tyne Morgan, Ag Day TV National Reporter
Indiana Soil3

It's not just the rain holding northern Indiana farmers up this year. Temperatures have been below normal, too.

With a shiny new planter sitting idle in the shed just waiting to be broken in, it's not easy for the Licthenbarger family to sit on the sideline and watch it rain.

"We're anxious, because when you have a new outfit it always has some bugs and glitches in it, and we're ready to go," says Rick Lichtenbarger, a farmer outside of South Bend, Ind.

Watch the AgDay report:

About 15 miles down the road, Tom Cooreman's check of the latest weather forecast confirms one thing, more rain.

"According to the weather forecast, we won't be in the field this week at all," says Cooreman, "And it doesn't look good for next week, because the temperatures are so low, nothing really dries out."

"Sounds like we'll have more time to work on more equipment and do other things," says Lichtenbarger. "If the forecast holds true, we won't be in the field this week."

It's not just the rain holding these farmers up this year. Temperatures have been below normal.

It's cold," says Lichtenbarger. "I haven't even put a thermometer out."

Add all that together and it means planting 2014 is not off to a start many had hoped. Overall, Indiana farmers have planted 8 percent of the state’s corn crop. Normally, it’s at 25 percent. And just like most farmers in the state, Lichtenbarger says he’s behind.

"At this point we should just be full bore, and that's not going to happen this week."

Lichtenbarger says he's about two weeks behind in field work, so that has to still get done before planting can get underway."

"Normally we like to start anywhere after the 15th of April, and, it's going to be May now. "

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