by Al Schoch
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota’s Extension Educator David Nicolai says soybean and corn farmers whose crops were drowned out last month have to get late planting done soon.
“It’s really a make or break week. We look at harvest, when is that frost potentially going to be coming in the fall. We need to be in the ground for that situation,” Nicolai said. “Otherwise growers are going to be dependent on crop insurance adjustments to help them from a financial standpoint.”
Nicolai says now is too late for field corn, which as the old saying goes should be knee-high by the Fourth of July. In some cases, farmers are planting coverage crops to prevent soil erosion, or they will not replant and just try to keep weeds from spreading.
The good part of the damage from last month’s storms is that it was focused mostly in river valleys and not as much on farm fields. Nicolai says fields that were affected are in low-lying areas.
“Moisture that’s on the top of the fields in those particular areas has been slow to drain off. Things tend to back up in the drainage systems,” Nicolai said.
The heavy rains have had an effect on the crops that didn’t get washed away.
“We’ve had excessive wet conditions and that’s led to quality of the crops to be limited. It’s only fair –25 to 35 percent. A lot of the health of our crops could be better,” Nicolai said.
Some parts of the state are doing real well with corn and soybeans. One area that’s the “sweet spot” is southeastern Minnesota.