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Cold Weather forces changes in planting seeds

PEORIA, Il. - “For every day you lose you take the x number of bushels off your yield, it’s a pretty high price to pay for late planting."

For third generation Dunlap farmer Gary Pullen, this year's cold start to spring is nothing new.

At times, Pullin has had to wait until the end of May to plant seeds, and for farmers around central Illinois panic mode hasn't set in quite yet.

“Usually by the 15 of April we're moving, we're doing something, were applying the anhydrous fertilizer,” said Pullen. He adds, “Seeds have been delivered, everyone is right there, but obviously we haven’t started yet.”

In the meantime, farmers are being patient and waiting for soil temperatures to rise back into the 50’s to allow corn and soybeans to germinate.

Pullen says, “With this weather, with how cold it is, with how wet it is, if the sun came out tomorrow, it would be 10 days before we could do much of anything.”

Peoria County Farm Bureau Manager Patrick Kirchhofer says the final yields of the farming season won't be affected by these early months. The summer months will be a better indication of their returns.

“How much rain will we have, what will the temperatures be during the day, how cool will it get it at night, that all determines the yields at the end of the growing season,” Kirchhofer said.

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