Area farmers playing catch-up with planting after soggy spring

Published: May. 23, 2018 at 9:12 PM EDT
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For area farmers the race is on to get crops in the ground.

"We're about three weeks behind on planting corn and soybeans," said Swanton farmer Doug Keil.

Fields all across Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan are waterlogged after weeks of steady spring rain.

Those conditions have kept farmers like Keil from getting some much needed planting done.

"If you get on the ground too wet you just destroy it, compact it," said Keil. "When you compact the soils the seed just doesn't do as good and you won't get the yields."

Keil, who also owns Keil's Produce and Greenhouse, has farmed land in Lucas and Fulton counties for more than 30 years.

While the weather has given him late starts before he says it almost always affects his bottom line.

"Now we're going to have all this work to do all at once," said Keil. "I mean, we've got five different jobs to do now instead of just planting. What we do we're just going to have to do everything at once."

"Standing water has drown some of the crops Keil has already planted. Now he's going to have to come back out here and replant them all over again."

The impact of this spring's soaking rains are also felt well beyond farmers fields.

"When we first opened up it was a little slow," said Fred Loch of Loch's Greenhouse.

Loch says the chilly temps and damp weather kept customers away and out of their gardens.

"The gardens are flooded--they can't get in to plant the material and we had the cool temperatures early," said Loch. "So people that would put their cold crops in, I mean, they didn't want to because of the fact that they didn't want to lose the plant material."

With warmer weather finally here, area growers say they hope the rains will hold off so they can continue with business as usual.

"We'll be alright as long as we don't get no rain for two weeks now," said Keil. "So if we get one this weekend it's not going to be good."