Nebraska farmer says it’s the 129th driest year on record


Nebraska farmer says it’s the 129th driest year on record

A Western Corn Belt farmer says 2022 is shaping up to be one of the driest planting seasons on record.

Don Batie grows a variety of crops in South-Central Nebraska. “Since November in our area, I don’t think we’ve had more than one rain over a tenth-of-an inch. According to the long-term records, we’re like the 129th driest year in 130 years.”

He tells Brownfield drought and high winds have kept spring fieldwork to a minimum and earlier this week he tried top-dressing winter wheat. “This pivot of wheat that I’m spraying, I actually put an inch of water on it on Friday and I can drive on it without leaving tracks in it today. It’s all gone.  That moisture is all soaked up and we’re going to need 4-5 inches of moisture – that’s what we’re going to need before we’re considered out of the drought.”

He says it’s even too dry to strip-till. “Honestly, we’re probably going to park it and wait and then I’ll just have to keep one field ahead of the planter that way we disturb the soil as little as possible until we get there with the planter.”

Batie says he expects to start planting at the end of the month or in early May.

He says the forecast calls for a cool down this weekend with chances of snow on Easter.