It’s a beast of a weed, creeping north into the Midwest from cotton country. Palmer amaranth can shoot up as high as 7 feet, and just one plant can produce up to a million seeds. Herbicide is increasingly futile against it, and the weed’s thick stems and deep roots make it hard work to clear by hand.
A dozen farmers and business owners from Africa are visiting farm equipment factories in the Midwest to study technology that might help them produce more soybeans and corn back home.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering emergency haying for livestock producers because of a hay shortage. State wildlife managers have identified 922 acres on 43 wildlife management areas where emergency haying would benefit wildlife.
Cooler weather has given Minnesota farmers a break from the heat. In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that statewide, temperatures for the week averaged 6.7 degrees below average. Despite the cooler weather, 5.9 days were suitable for field work last week.
Janet and John Bremer are dairy farmers in Hastings, and have seen a lot of changes over the years. “When my in-laws first began this farm, there was only three cows — we now milk 128 every morning and every night,” Bremer said. The couple said they understand the decline.
Some Upper Midwest farmers are worried they won’t qualify for crop insurance on land they couldn’t plant because it was too wet. At issue is a rule affecting whether farmers qualify for “prevented planting” payments for cropland that’s too wet or dry to plant.
With a cold spring and recent storms, a lot of Minnesota farmers are expecting to lose out on this year’s corn crop. Corn in Minnesota is only about 10 inches high on average. It’s usually more than double that by now.
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.
Wet weather has put some farmers way behind schedule. Corn and soybeans have been a struggle this year, so has alfalfa.
A stretch of wet weather has slowed planting of crops in Minnesota.
The wet start to the corn planting season may reduce the amount each acre produces this year, but farmers are planting so much corn they’re still likely to bring in a record crop. In a report released Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated farmers would bring in 14.1 billion bushels of corn this year, a billion bushels more than the previous record set in 2009.
There’s good news regarding Minnesota’s drought: It’s easing up considerably.
Despite the sudden warm weather, Minnesota farmers are still waiting for the chance to get into their fields.
Minnesota’s farmers got little fieldwork accomplished this past week as winter continues to resist surrendering to spring.
Democrats in the Minnesota House and Senate are looking for new ways to collect money. If their latest plan passes, that glass of water from your kitchen faucet may be getting more expensive.