Spring Begins, Farmers Prepare

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Springtime is planting time, and even though Friday was the first day of Spring, here in Iowa, planting season won’t start for another month.

Farmers are preparing for the upcoming growing season, and that means they’re contending with the unexpected.

In Montezuma last week, farmer Kevin Rempp was hauling grain to the local elevator when a belt broke.

Repairs on that wouldn’t wrap up until the following morning, and while it turned out to be a minor inconvenience, Rempp says unplanned equipment malfunctions are just a farming fact, ”We’re quite a ways out from planting, so I mean, we hope to have a few other good days we can get back in to do stuff. If it was right in the heat of the battle of - I mean, it would have been different if this had happened in the fall when everybody’s trying to get grain off the combine. But right now, like I say, you know, and you realize that things do break down. You don’t want them too, but I mean, it happens.”

Also unexpected has been the unfriendly weather in his area the last few years. Near his farm in Montezuma, Rempp says there’s been a trend of overabundant precipitation.

He says, ”Right now, I don’t think we know what normal is anymore. I mean, the last couple years we’ve had relatively good corn crops, but our beans have been very low. So, I mean, if we can get it into a decent weather pattern, I mean not too much rain, which has been the problem in this area. So, more like an normal crop year, but every year is different.”

When the weather dries up, Rempp says he plans to work on conservation on his farm, starting with re-seeding some of his grassed waterways.