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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 10, 2014, 09:37 PM

Spring planting delayed as wet conditions setback farmers in the Red River Valley

Larimore, ND (WDAY TV) - Steady rainfall throughout the spring has resulted in standing water on many farm fields through the Red River Valley. Those wet conditions have kept farmers out of their fields and put their spring planting on hold.

By: Michael Yoshida, WDAY

Larimore, ND (WDAY TV) - Steady rainfall throughout the spring has resulted in standing water on many farm fields through the Red River Valley.

Those wet conditions have kept farmers out of their fields and put their spring planting on hold.

The sound of hammers fill the farmyard of Robert Stover.

Sights like this keeping him out of his farm fields and back in the shop.

Robert Stover/Farmer: “We're doing some touch ups, repairs that we can do. We want to be ready when the grounds ready.”

Ground that this spring has been saturated with water, in April over two and a half inches of rain fell, more than twice the average.

Robert Stover/Farmer: “The incremental rains we've had it gets worse. It sets you back more and more. It's a frustration that all farmers have.”

Jennifer Ritterling/Meteorologist: “The pattern has been where it's been fairly wet across most of the area. Just in the first nine days of May we've had 8/10's of an inch.”

Soil type also influences the impact of this rain. With heavier soils holding standing water. While just next them sandy soils appear nearly dry and ready to plant.

Stover: “It's ready very fast. In fact I have a field that's ready to go almost right away. Even after 6/10s of an inch.”

But whatever the soil type, Stover says there's one solution that will help.

Stover: “We would need a week of dry, sunny weather.”

Unfortunately it's sounds as though that's only wish-full thinking at this point.”

Ritterling: “The wet and cool pattern is going to continue at least for the next 10 days, 2 weeks. Unfortunately.”

Stover: “I think all farmers are eternal optimists. They all hope for good years. And as the year goes on and as things come and go. We just roll with the punches.”

Heading in to the weekend, Stover hadn't been able to plant any of his 1,500 acres.

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