Stateline Area farmers getting ready for the planting season

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CLINTON - Everything appears to be on schedule for Stateline Area farmers as they prepare for spring planting.

Agriculture agent Nick Baker, for UW Extension Rock County, said on Tuesday that minimal farming work is being done at the moment.

"We're really about two to three weeks before anyone will start planting," Baker said. "Everyone remembers last year when we had a snow storm at the end of April."

Baker said farmers likely won't start planting until around April 20, which is about when Matt Rehberg, who farms corn and soybeans on 1,800 acres in Clinton, plans to start farming.

"It's a mixed bag, because you're anxiously awaiting planting, but you don't want it here too quick because you're still getting everything ready," Rehberg said.

Baker said many farmers are currently hauling manure and beginning to fertilize the land, which he said is where farmers should be at this stage since it's so early in the season. He also said the frigid temperatures this past winter can be good to help manage pests that harm crops.

"If there is such a thing as an average spring we're hitting it right now," Baker said. "We should be in good shape to start out the growing season."

Rehberg said farmers like him are finishing up winter projects while watching the weather in anticipation of the planting season.

He said farmers will be looking for soil temperatures being consistently above 50 degrees with a dry seed bed, no cold rain and a mild outdoor temperature in order to plant crops.

"We're all hopeful for a good growing season," Rehberg said.

As the farming season begins to heat up, Baker urges drivers to be cautious around tractors on the road.

"They do move slow and take up space," Baker said.

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