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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Planting season

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dressed in protective clothing, Chad Casassa prepares to sandblast a ground ripper in preparation for planting.

At barns around the county, farmers are preparing for the planting season as the temperature begins to warm.

"It isn't for a while yet," said Leon Mercer, an area farmer preparing for the spring planting season. He is one of many, but with 3,000 acres to plant in corn, beans and wheat, preparation at the Mercer Farm begins early. "We started three weeks ago."

The wet and snowy winter has made the ground too soft for trucks to get into the fields with chemical treatments. But fertilizer trucks for wheat were able to run on the frozen ground a few days ago.

"We're working in the fields when we can," Growers Co-Op Branch Manager Jim Mishler said of field preparation efforts. "We do need things to dry out."

There are benefits to the excess moisture in the ground from this winter.

"Having all that excess water will help fend off a dry spell if we should get one," Mercer said. Its a farmer's job to worry about those things he said, but its what makes the job exciting. "There's always some kind of surprise when you're a farmer."

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