Economic growth slowed down this month in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states, according to a report issued Thursday. The overall economic index for the region slipped to 55.8 in August from 57.3 in July, but was far ahead of the 47.1 in August 2012.
Minnesota farmers are expected to harvest their second-largest corn crop in state history. According to this week’s projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota’s corn and soybean crops are expected to be slightly smaller than 2012.
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.
Armyworms are being blamed for damaging a number of central Minnesota cornfields in recent days, though experts aren’t sure about the extent and severity of the infestation.
The summer fair season has arrived and in the next few weeks, children from around state will bring their livestock to 4-H competitions. Last year, there was concern that the dry weather would have an impact on the size and turnout of livestock during this year’s fair season.
State regulators blamed farming for rising nitrate levels in southern Minnesota surface waters in a new report Wednesday, citing the increasing use of drainage tiling as a major reason.
In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that a statewide average of 3.6 days were suitable for fieldwork last week, a slight improvement from recent weeks.
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.
Yet another week of wet weather has prevented Minnesota farmers from getting their planting done.
Minnesota farmers who have had trouble completing their spring planting due to a muddy May are facing some important decisions this month, and grain prices are rising as traders worry that yields will be hurt by the late finish to the planting season.
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.
While we all complain about the weather, farmers need cooperation from Mother Nature to make their money, and the cool spring has pushed back planting of this year’s sweet corn.
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.