Farmers' tough year continues with heavy rains, muddy fields - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Farmers' tough year continues with heavy rains, muddy fields

Posted: Updated:
Eight inches of rain have fallen on central Indiana this month, nearing a 100-year high. Eight inches of rain have fallen on central Indiana this month, nearing a 100-year high.
Farmers are still recovering from last summer's drought. Farmers are still recovering from last summer's drought.
Merrill Kelsay Merrill Kelsay
  • HeadlinesHeadlinesMore>>

  • Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:51:16 GMT
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
  • Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:35:47 GMT
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
  • A fantastic weekend on tap

    A fantastic weekend on tap

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:13 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:13:13 GMT
    A spectacular weekend is on tap as dry weather dominants and the warming trend continues. An area of high pressure will slowly move over Quebec this weekend bringing central Indiana sunny skies and lightMore >>
    A spectacular weekend is on tap as dry weather dominants and the warming trend continues.
    More >>
JOHNSON COUNTY -

From last summer's record drought, to fields too muddy to plant right now, central Indiana farmers have endured a tough year.

No crops have been planted yet at Kelsay Farms in Johnson County. The fields are simply too full of water. Some areas look like lakes instead of farm fields.

"Probably, in the center, it's probably a couple feet deep," Kelsay Farms' owner Merrill Kelsay said. "We already had planted most of the corn last year and now...nothing."

Heavy rain that flooded homes and businesses is causing problems for local farmers, too.

We've received well over eight inches in less than a month, which is nearing a 100-year record. That rain, coupled with the cold temperatures, could shorten yields of corn and feed for Kelsay's livestock.

This is actually a problem all across the Midwest.

In fact, this week, the USDA reports only 2 percent of the country's corn crop has been planted. Last year at this time, they had 16 percent in the ground.

"A lot of days will go by and you wonder why people aren't doing something, but the ground has to dry out before you can plant. You can't plant in mud," Kelsay said.

Farmers faced the opposite problem last year - severe damage from a record drought. Kelsay lost about half of his crops in the dry heat last summer. The effects of that drought are still lingering in the cattle barn, where Kelsay has been forced to get creative to stretch the feed left over.

He says extreme weather, from no rain, to too much of it, has been tough.

"It's probably been 3-4 years since we've had a normal, what I would call a normal, crop," he said.

Even with flooded fields, farmers and agricultural experts say it's not time to panic just yet. They still have time to make up for the delay.

But Kelsay says that also means farmers will be playing catch-up all summer.

"Everything's gonna come at once. We're going to have to do a lot in a 2-3 week period of time," he said.

Now farmers just hope for a warm and dry month of May.

Powered by WorldNow