WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - With more than double the average rainfall this fall, soil for many farmers has become muddy or flooded and damaging the crops they’re growing.
So far 4.82 inches of rain has fallen this winter, still with much more on it’s way. The rain making the dirt so wet that equipment falls in and gets stuck, almost like quicksand.
“You can’t realize it until it’s too late so if you’re pulling a plow or a planter it’ll just get into the ground too deep and it just locks you down,” David Graf, county extension officer, said.
And there’s only one choice to get unstuck.
“You gotta pull it out one way or another,” he said.
While the equipment can damage the ground and hurt the crops' chances to grow out, the rain can hurt the crops plenty on it’s own. Flooding the roots and not allowing enough oxygen to reach the plants and delaying the next steps for treating the wheat in the ground.
“We really need to be (applying) fertilizer within the next couple weeks so hopefully it will be dry enough but it’s looking pretty slim right now, it might be a later fertilization than usual,” farmer Matt Mahler said.
It is also delaying the preparations needed for the crops that are to come.
“The ruts and different things in the field, being that we do no-till farm, it takes a lot longer to get the ground straightened back out and get smoothed back out so it will take time to get things back in order before we do plant our spring crops,” Mahler said.
He added that the good news will be a moist under soil will help crops that are going to be growing in warmer temperatures as summer approaches.