Heavy March rains slow crop planting across Maryland

April 26, 1993|By Capital News Service

This year's heavy rains have delayed Queen Anne's County farmer Dan Sordal from planting crops on his 700-acre farm.

"I've seen this much rain before, but not this long," said the grain and soybean farmer. "Too much rain can be just as bad as too little."

Norman Astle, Maryland Farm Bureau spokesman, said that although planting has been delayed, the problem is not yet critical.

"If it normalizes, there could be some catching up," Mr. Astle said. "[But] it's going to take a lot of work."

The rain makes it difficult to operate farm equipment. And driving tractors over wet ground can compact the soil and lower the crop yield, Mr. Astle said.

Carroll D. Homann, a Department of Agriculture statistician, said some regions in Maryland got up to 10 inches of rain in March -- which usually brings 3.5 to 3.8 inches. Crops that have been affected are grain corn, pea and potatoes.

Only 2 percent of the grain corn crop has been planted so far, Mr. Homann said. At this point, usually 5 percent is planted, he said.

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