Local farmers try to avoid getting stuck in rut after wet weather slows them down

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-29 19:36:31-04

Chesapeake. Va. - Farmers in Chesapeake are on the move these days spraying fertilizer on their wheat, hoping for a good yield this year.

But the wet weather we've seen so far has made it hard for some farmers to get work done.

Watson Lawrence is the agriculture extension agent for the city of Chesapeake.

“The rain this year has been a big challenge for farmers,” says Lawrence.

He says that while most wheat growers in the area are beginning to see a healthy crop, the rainy weather hasn't made it easy for heavy ground equipment to get into the fields.

In fact, the rain has created a few ruts here and there, which have been known to hold water and even destroy certain crops.

“There are occasions where it is so wet that you actually get equipment stuck in a field and then in order to get the equipment out, you have to create even more ruts. It just gets to be a big mess,” says Lawrence.

Conditions have been so wet over the past few weeks that some local farmers have had to adjust some of their planting techniques so their equipment doesn't get stuck in the mud.

In order to avoid that problem and get his crop started on time, the farmer of a 300-acre wheat field near Hickory had his crop sprayed with fertilizer with an airplane; it’s a technique that many farmers, Lawrence says, don't use around here.

“Situations like we`re in this spring, when they`re trying to avoid ruts, they will sometimes be a little more cautious and be a little hesitant to put equipment out in the field,” says Lawrence.

For now, local farmers are keeping an eye on the weather, hoping for drier and warmer weather to keep their crops growing.