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Farmers Waiting For Spring

Chatham-Kent farmers are playing the waiting game as they hope for warmer weather.

“Gives them an opportunity to get more of their inside work there,” says Harry Lawson, vice president of the Kent Federation of Agriculture. “There’s sure no field work going on to speak of the last few days.”

Lawson says the cold temperatures have put some crops behind.

“The only crop I would say would be behind is the farmers that are in the sugar beet areas, they’re not getting their crop in the ground,” he says. “The very few farmers in Chatham-Kent who actually grow oats or barley, things like that. But it’s slowing things down.”

Winter wheat is also off to a slow start.

“It’s actually starting to green up a little bit, you can see some life there,” says Lawson. “The freezing and thawing is not good for it, but I don’t see a lot of dead spots in the field where the water’s been laying on it and killed it. It looks like it’s coming out relatively good from the fields I’ve seen.”

But Lawson says most farmers haven’t lost any growing time yet.

“Mother nature controls that whole season so we play the hand that we’re dealt,” he says. “With the equipment and technology that’s available nowadays on farms, when the weather does warm up, the crop will get planted.”

Lawson also doesn’t think the cold weather will force farmers to change their crops.

“Farmers pretty well have their plans set, they know where they’re going to plant corn, they know where they’re going to plant beans, or the vegetable guys, they know what they’re doing,” he says. “I can’t see it making a huge change¬†unless we have a very wet, backwards May, where you couldn’t get corn planted. Then there might be some ground switched to soybeans.”