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Farmers struggle to plant

By Staff | Jun 2, 2019

Farm fields around Faribault County, most of southern Minnesota and a lot of all the midwestern states have standing water in them. Many have not been planted, and those that have been have a lot of ponds on them as well. Farmers are hoping for a few days or even weeks of little to no rain to help them finish up planting.

It seems like the weather is determined to keep causing problems in the area. From large amounts of snow to heavy winds and a winter which refused to go away, the weather has given area residents something to talk about.

Now it is the rain. Add this spring’s precipitation to the already saturated soils from last fall’s rains and it has made it challenging for area farmers to get their crops in.

Although farmers are not required to certify their acres until July, local Farm Service Agency director Nicki Miranowski realizes farmers are behind in their planting.

“You know that there have been problems and the weather has not been cooperative,” Miranowski says.

However it is not just the excess moisture causing difficulties for those trying to raise crops.

Reports from the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca show temperatures have been running 4.6 degrees cooler than normal. Accumulated growing degree units (GDUs) since May 1 are only 62 percent of normal.

According to a report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on May 28, the National Agricultural Statistics Service says only 66 percent of Minnesota’s corn had been planted as of May 26. This compares to a five-year average of 93 percent.

When it comes to soybeans, the report shows Minnesota farmers only had 22 percent of their crop in the ground compared to a 77 percent five-year average.

It is not just Minnesota farmers who have struggled to get the seeds in the ground this year. Other top corn producing states of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska are all at least 20 percent behind their average. Illinois, in particular, is having problems getting their corn planted with only 35 percent of their crop in compared to a 95 percent five-year mark.