Rain and snow in various parts of Wyoming have caused farmers to fall behind on final harvest.
According to Camby Reynolds, farm manager at the University of Wyoming Powell Research and Extension Center, that part of the state received a lot of rain, andsome snow, during an early October storm.
“We still can hardly get into the fields so we’re behind on sugarbeet harvest,” said Reynolds. “They have already had four inches of snow and that kept them out of the field for several additional days. It just makes things muddy.”
Once farmers get the sugarbeets out, they will have sunflowers and corn to harvest. That will finish the harvest of their crops. They planted seven different crops this year and several varieties.
Reynolds said the early snow did not hurt the final crops still out in the field.
“We have to wait until they get a good freeze on them anyway, to dry them out,” said Reynolds.
Bart Stam, the University of Wyoming Extension educator for Hot Springs County, near Thermopolis, said the snow and rain has been unseasonably early in his area.
“We have already had lots of snow,” said Stam. “Two snowstorms, in fact, and they put down anywhere from three to five inches.”
This spring and summer started out okay but then it got dry during July, August and September.
“Then we got rain and snow and that has slowed things up,” said Stam, adding that the storm has impeded some of the third cutting of alfalfa. “Our agriculture enterprises here are mostly cattle, sheep, and grass and alfalfa hay. We have a limited amount of row crops.”
Though Wyoming farmers are struggling to wrap up their harvest, Stam says the cattle in his area did well this summer.
“The pastures weren’t great, but they were a lot better than the summer pastures of 2012,” said Stam.
In his area the cattle are still in transition from summer pasture to winter pasture.
“A lot of producers are working cattle now and getting ready to preg check,” said Stam. “There are still some out in summer pasture, but one way or another they have all come down out of the high summer pasture.
“We have had snow down in town so there has definitely been cattle gathering going on in the snow around here,” he concluded.