Delayed spring planting - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Delayed spring planting

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INDIANAPOLIS -

It might finally be starting to feel like spring. But, this long, cold winter is taking its toll on farmers,  delaying their spring planting season. That could affect all of us if things don't turn around soon.

"It was absolutely the longest and most horrible winter that I've ever experienced," said Judith Beache, a shopper.

But, this long, wet winter that just won't go away is much more than a nuisance. Bottom line, it could hit you in the pocket and affect your grocery bill.

Fifteen more degrees to reach the necessary 55 degree minimum to start spring planting. But, cold soil is the least of the worries for local farmers like Rob and Eric Richards at Indy Family Farms. All of the snows are leaving a wet mess in the fields delaying their spring planting so far by four weeks.

"We were actually able to get in the fields and do pre-planting activities 18 days in March. So far this year--zero," said Rob.

What a swing from optimal spring planting a year ago to a devastating drought a few months later. Back on this same farm in August, struggling soybeans.

"You can obviously see they've withered away and gone to nothing," said Rob last August.

Now, with a new shot to get everything right, Machines that should be fired and prepping the fields are sitting idle, waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate. With each passing week, there's a bigger chance you'll feel their pain.

"The food is going to be in shorter supply so it's going to be more expensive so if you're going to eat it, you're going to have to pay for it," said Judith.

Setting the stage for another interesting year of agriculture driven by unpredictable weather.

Farmers say they hope to get in the fields by mid-April. If that happens, they can head off disaster. If things go much too past that, we could be looking at drastically reduced yields that could affect prices down the line.

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