Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ed McNamara has been farming in Goodhue County for 36 years. As the old saying goes, he’s used to seeing corn knee high by the Fourth of July.
This year, he may not see it at all.
“We’ve had wet periods but we’ve always been able to get a crop in. This is the first time that we’ve ever not been able to get the whole crop in,” McNamara said.
In fact, it’s predicted that about 20 percent of Goodhue County won’t have a crop planted this year due to a lot of rain and very little sun.
“If I planted when the fields got fit, say in another two weeks, the corn plant would not have enough time to mature before we’d have a killing frost in the fall,” he said.
Crop insurance will help McNamara recoup some of the loss, but that only covers about 60 percent of what he would have received had he had a full corn harvest.
With corn a bust, the worry now is if the weather can shape up enough to get soybeans in on time. It’s a county-wide concern says Glen Roberson, district manager of Goodhue County Soil & Water Conservation.
“Normally, you get about 24 inches of moisture in the growing season. This year we’ve got half of that already on the ground and it’s the 10th of June. It’s just been incredibly wet,” Roberson said.
For farmers like McNamara, missing out on a crop has a trickle-down effect. He says one farmer feeds about 150 people. All he can do is hope that next year is better.
“Last year we planted in dust. This year could be a dud,” McNamara said.
It’s predicted that more than a million acres of corn won’t get planted in the state this year. It won’t be immediate but if this affects groceries, it wouldn’t be for a few months down the road.