Farmers chill out

Staff writer

Muddy fields and water logged pastures are keeping farmers from normal activities, but some Marion County farmers and ranchers are finding other ways to spend their time.

Jeanie Bartel and her husband, Steve, own a family farm near Lehigh. She said Steve was doing maintenance on equipment, unplugging ditches, and checking crop conditions.

“He occasionally took time to go out to lunch or a movie with the kids and me,” Jeanie said.

Cattle rancher Nick Kraus of rural Marion said he has been busy building fence.

Eric Carlson, who farms east of Lincolnville, said he, his dad, and his brother have been doing repairs around the farm and performing maintenance work on machinery.

“When we can get into fields we should have everything ready to go,” he said.

There was enough of a break in the rain last week for Carlson to move cattle, he said.

“We have a bunch we need to move but at this point we can’t get into the pasture because it’s too wet,” he said. “Usually this would be very bad, but with all the rain we’ve had it shouldn’t hurt the grass at all.”

Carlson is one of many area farmers who are ready to get back into rain soaked fields.

“I’ve had a lot of people say they are anxious to get into fields and get some work done,” Ricky Roberts, Marion County extension agent, said. “Hay needs moved and weeds and volunteer wheat are growing quickly in wheat fields. Farmers need to get into those areas to spray.”

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