Farmers struggle with dry weather conditions

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU) - From fluctuating winter weather to drought like conditions, farmers have to adjust to whatever mother nature throws at them, season after season.

The start of this growing season has been drier than normal, something farmer, Shane Goplin, said is cause for some concern.

“I’m not going to say I’m not nervous, but we just take what we get,” Goplin said.

Shane Goplin of Osseo grows corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. He said he’s hoping for rain to come soon, so his hard work doesn’t go to waste.

“We’re we are going to need moisture and a significant amount of moisture. But right now, my main concern is that I’m putting crop protection out there with herbicides to suppress the weeds and that needs moisture to activate. Also the fertilizer, we put a coating on our fertilizer with nitrogen so it doesn’t volatilize up into the air or down into the groundwater. But that also, if that doesn’t get soaked into the ground with rain, it’s going to start losing its use,” Goplin said.

Goplin believes there could be enough time for the crops to catch up from dry conditions, so long as mother nature cooperates.

“As far as the crop itself, I’m not worried about that yet. Nobody can control the weather, so I’m not going to worry about that but just deal with the worry of what we can control ourselves and put different plans in place and changes always inevitable,” Goplin said.

Goplin uses cover crops to help with runoff and keep the soil moist

“Cover crops, number one, it helps with erosion, so we’re going to get better water infiltration with that. Also, you know, with the root mass that’s underneath the ground that’s absorbing the moisture and keeping the moisture. So we are able to keep a little bit more moisture in the ground for a longer period of time versus conventional till,” Goplin said.

He’s also invested in precision spraying technology to help conserve precious resources like seeds, fertilizer, and water. Goplin said in recent years, more farmers in the area have adopted these sustainable practices.