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Planting Way Behind For Farmers In Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sunday’s beautiful weather is a relief to most of us, but one particular group is really grateful.

Farms are finally buzzing with activity after a long cold winter and wet spring, which was a terrible combination for farmers. So, planting is way behind in many parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Ryan Buck farms corn and soybeans in Welch, Minn. in Goodhue County.

“We just roll with the punches and try to figure it out as we go,” Buck said. “It took a long time for the frost to get out of the ground and when it finally did come out, we got into a rainy pattern.”

It was pain felt round the state.

“Central Minnesota, south central Minnesota, portions of southeastern Minnesota and even northwestern Minnesota have had to deal with cold, wet conditions where it’s kept them out of the field,” Dave Nicolai, an instructor of crops at the University of Minnesota Extension, said.

The soil needs to be at least 50 degrees to plant. On Sunday, it was 70, not to mention, the wind.

“There’s a breeze [Sunday], which is very much of a drying breeze and that helps us quite a bit as well,” Nicolai said. “I think this next week we’re going to see what I term ‘Rush Hour’ in the countryside.”

Nicolai says soybeans can wait till June, but the corn crop’s already about three weeks late.

“That target deadline is to see if we can get as much of that crop in prior to the Memorial Day weekend,” Nicolai said.

And when it comes to meeting those deadlines, many a farmer knows talk is cheap.

“By the time it gets dark tonight, this field should be planted. It better be,” Buck said.

Nicolai is optimistic that with the warm week coming up the corn crop will only take about a 5 to 7 percent loss this season. However, he says significant rain could make for a big problem.

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