For two years, farmers haven’t been able to find the right mix of rainy and dry days for the perfect planting season, but one farmer says the conditions this year are looking up.
Ben Hollingshead is yet to plant a single seed in his Ogden fields this year.
In early April this isn’t unusual but the last couple of years, the planting season schedule has been off a bit.
“We’ve had a couple abnormal years. You kind of forget what normal is,” said Hollingshead.
In 2012, spring came early and Ben, like most farmers had his crops in the ground by March but battled drought conditions all year long.
Last year, fields were drenched and looked more like pools than soil that can produce a quality crop.
For some, corn didn’t go in the ground until May.
“It’s been a little difficult to find that happy medium, that middle ground,” Hollingshead told Channel 13 News.
Mother Nature is unpredictable, but Ben is optimistic that middle ground will come this year.
Right now, his fields are a rainy day away from ideal moisture and a few warm days away from the perfect soil temperature.
A dry weekend to get the crop in the ground a couple weeks down the road wouldn’t hurt either.
“You have to be optimistic this time of year,” said Hollingshead.
Of course, a strong planting season doesn’t guarantee a good year.
Too much rain or another relentless dry spell could knock out that optimism out in a hurry.
For now, Ben can dream of a less stressful year, if that even exists in farming.
“You would hope for 200 bushel corn, 60 bushel beans, and hope that corn is 15%,” said Hollinghead.
According to the latest drought map, most of the state is experiencing moderate or normal conditions.
There are some small pockets where drought conditions are extreme.