Farmers Wait for Snow to Melt, Fields to Thaw

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NIPPENOSE TOWNSHIP -- Some farmers in Lycoming County are trying to prepare for planting season, but it's a waiting game for those farmers who are waiting for the snow to melt and the fields to thaw.

Patches of snow on this field at Moore Farms near Jersey Shore serve as a reminder of the long, cold winter.

"You can take a week from now, 10 days from now, this could be all dried up. You could be out here doing something,” said Scott Moore, the owner of Moore Farms in Nippenose Township.

The only thing growing in Scott Moore's fields right now is grain. He planted it in the fall to help protect the soil. The cold winter stunted its growth.

"This is behind a little bit,” said Moore.

"You can't start planting in this. All you have to do is wait for it to dry out," said Moore.

Try to walk through a field this week and you might get stuck in the mud.  Farmers say wet, cold weather isn't necessarily a bad thing for their farms. As long as it continues to get warmer they should be ready to start planting seeds in a little over a month.

"The winter was hard and cold, but as far as affecting the soil or anything it hasn't affected the soil,” said Moore.

As Moore waits to start planting field corn, soy beans and green beans, he spends time indoors bagging farm feed and getting farm equipment ready for planting season.

"Normally the third week of April you get planting. Depends on the weather, depends on the temperatures," said Moore.

"We had years we sowed oats in the middle of March, but that won't be this year,” said Dave Steppe from Woodward Township.

Dave Steppe helps out on Moore's farm, but also has his own farm near Williamsport.  Like Moore, he hopes the weather breaks so he can plant seeds on time this season.

"Well you go to have the mud before you get the frost out,” said Steppe.

As for Moore, he won't try to predict when the weather will break, but he'll be ready to plant seeds when it does.

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