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Shelby County farmers anticipating more rain in the coming days are scurrying to get out their corn and soybean crops already delayed by an extremely wet streak.
Some were working late into the night and early morning to plant corn and try to clear one crop and place the other.
Farmer Ray Tucker posted on his Facebook page Thursday that he had planted corn until 3 a.m. and was planning to get at soybeans starting at 5.
Heavy rain showers rolled in Thursday afternoon, and more were expected throughout the rest of the week
The plight in Shelby is not unique. Farmers in the state and across the nation are experiencing delays.
As of Sunday, just 39 percent of the state’s corn crop had been planted, barely half the pace of the 5-year average and far behind last year, when corn planting was nearly finished, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Service’s Louisville field office, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.
Just 23 percent of corn plants have emerged so far; normally, half the corn is out of the ground by now.
Rain is also delaying planting in some other portions of the Corn Belt. Corn planting is only 17 percent complete in Illinois (compared with the 5-year average of 64 percent), 30 percent complete in Indiana (down from 54 percent) and 15 percent complete in Iowa (down from 79 percent).
Delays are also being reported in states such as Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota, among others.
The Henderson area has seen significant rainfall every week since April 1, including 0.74 of an inch last week, according to the University of Kentucky Ag Weather Center. Precipitation has totaled 20.41 inches so far this year, which is 3.51 inches or nearly 21 percent more than normal.
Soybean planting is also falling behind. Only 2 percent of beans are planted, compared with an average of 15 percent at this time of year over the past half-decade.
Just 3 percent of the burley and dark tobacco plants have been set, down from the average of 10 percent.
Meanwhile, 67 percent of Kentucky’s winter wheat crop has headed, and the crop remains in mostly good to excellent condition.
Pastures and hay crops, which suffered badly during last summer’s drought and extreme heat, have been helped by the steady moisture this spring. Both are rated in mostly good condition.
The size of Kentucky’s strawberries are reported as 50 percent small, 38 percent medium and 12 percent large at this point in the growing season.