The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 13, 2013

Farmers still waiting to plant

OTTUMWA — Farmers have been waiting to plant this year. Ideally, said one expert, they’ll wait a little longer.

“He’s being patient, not planting until the optimal time,” confirmed Dawn Johnson, one-half of a farm couple in rural Wapello County.

On Friday, she said she her husband, Colin, weren’t feeling stressed out yet.

“I think it just seems like [farmers are waiting] a lot later because of last year, when we planted so early,” she said.

It really is later than usual, said a crops expert, though he agreed it looks even worse because of the unusually mild winter last year.

“By far, we were ahead [of this] last year,” confirmed Mark Carlton, soil and crops specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “We were exceptionally early planting corn and beans in 2012.”

Now, there’s reason to wait. First, last year’s mild winter was reversed this winter. In fact, the Iowa DNR, worried about nature’s production of pheasant, said this was the snowiest March in 15 years – and the coldest in 30 years.

Secondly, said Carlton, “We’re going to have to dry out. We’ve been blessed with adequate rainfall compared to other parts of the [nation], so our soil profile is full, which is a good thing. We have about 12 to 15 inches of water to grow plants, [which means] we already have half the water we need going into the season. It’s provided us with the moisture we need. But it’s going to be muddy. Too muddy to plant.”

It’s not just a question of getting the farm equipment onto the field, he said. Too much mud means the soil is full of water, not air.

“Plant roots have to have oxygen to grow. If you plant in muddy soil, root growth is going to be poor,” Carlton explained.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard color cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book

    ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

AP National