Rainy Season Impacts Farmers on Delmarva - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rainy Season Impacts Farmers on Delmarva

WESTOVER, Md.- More rain is headed to Delmarva and some farmers are not looking forward to it because they cannot plant their crops.

It is planting season for corn, and growing season for wheat. According to some farmers in Somerset County,  too much moisture can cause corn seeds to rot or mold underground. The rain can also cause fungus to grow on the wheat.

Brian Johnson and his father, Eddie Johnson, spent the afternoon inside their shop next to their wheat farm in Westover. They wanted to spend the day planting corn seeds, but did not want to take the risk.

“It [corn seeds] can rot in the ground, and then some of it will never germinate if it’s too cold or wet,” Brian said. “It will just rot in a row before it even gets out the ground.”

Rotting is not the only issue. If the pair decided to get corn seeds in the ground now, a lot of money would be lost if it gets ruined.

“You’re probably looking at an average of $300 a bag for seed corn,” Brian said. “With our planting population, it will do two-and-a-half acres a bag.”

The Johnsons own a total of 285 acres across different areas. Eddie said the rain has been tough on the crop.

“Right now, we don’t need any rain, we need to get the corn in the ground and the ground to warm up,” Eddie said. “Wheat will do better with no rain than it will with a lot of rain.”

He said too much rain could affect the amount of wheat when the time comes to sell it.

“80 percent of your yield is determined by the condition of the flag leaf,” Eddie said.

 Jared Miller is an agricultural educator with the University of Maryland Extension for the Lower Shore. He said spring can be tough on farmers and the regional economy.

“They’re paying for groceries, food and gas, so they are helping everyone,” Miller said.

 The Johnsons hope to plant their seed corn Monday, when the weather dries up.
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