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Indiana Farmers Concerned About Delayed Crop Planting
Updated April 17, 2018 6:27 AM
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(UNDATED) - Indiana farmers are becoming concerned that recent precipitation - both rain and snow - will delay this year's planting date.

Indiana Farm Bureau spokesman Bob White says farmers are normally out in the fields by now preparing their fields for planting.

"The frustration level is rising," says White.

White says lingering wintry temperatures could also make it challenging for crops to begin growing once they're in the ground. He says farmers normally wait until soil is at least 50 degrees before planting.

Farmers use a simple test to determine determine whether the ground is ready to plant.

"By picking up a handful of dirt," he added. "If you can make a ball and it stays as a ball, doesn't crumble on you, that's too damp."

There is also a risk of compaction if farmers enter the fields too early with their heavy equipment.

"They will compress the ground so much that it becomes hard and the emergence of the plants won't occur with regularity," he added.

Every week the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service for Indiana releases a weekly crop progress and condition report.

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