NTC, farmers struggling to grow crops with varying weather

Snow and cool weather have delayed the start of planting for most crops
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - When all goes to plan, NTC’s farm has plenty of crops at their disposal. Thanks to mother nature, their plans have been put on hold.

“The rain and the snow of this last week have really put a pause on everything,” said Alex Crockford, a crop science instructor. “And manure hauling would be starting in earnest this time of the year. That’s also been put off because of the wet weather and wet soils.”

Comparing this season to previous years, it’s a mixed bag.

“This year is actually, statewide, slightly above last year’s progress, last year was even a colder, wetter spring than this year,” said Crockford. “But on average across multiple years we are definitely behind probably by 15-20 percent of crop planting and crop tillage.”

Growing crops this time of year is challenging, it’s even affected their use of equipment, such as their seven-ton tanker.

“A lot of weight limits are on roads and they are determined by local officials,” Crockford added. “They determine whether it’s safe to have load limits back off and that probably is going be into May.”

While the weather may change, the hope for sunny skies remains. Crockford said once everything begins to “green up” and it starts to truly smell like spring, everyone gets anxious to get out and do the fieldwork.

NTC currently has their crop science associate degree program, where there’s still time to register for summer and fall classes.

If you’re interested in joining the program, click here.