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A Slow Start To Wyoming Growing Season

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A cool, wet spring has Wyoming’s growing season off to a sluggish start.  Ken Hamilton with the Wyoming Farm Bureau says some crops—like corn and sugar beets—were planted as much as three weeks later than usual.  He says hay production has also been hurt by all the precipitation.

“Some of those fields were not just rained on once but multiple times,” Hamilton says.  “And so I’m sure there’s going to be some hay that the quality was down because of the rain.  We probably won’t know about that though until we sort of get it wrapped up and put in the stack.  And then maybe get some testing done on it.”

Hamilton says last year’s hay brought a high price due to droughts that created a shortage around the country.  He says it’s unclear how much demand for hay there will be this year or how the lower quality will affect sales.  But he says some crops have weathered the unseasonable conditions better than others.  Winter wheat and malt barley’s harvest times seem to be on target.     

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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