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.
The wet, cold weather is preventing Minnesota farmers from getting much planting done. In its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says only 8 percent of the state’s corn crop has been planted, which is up 4 percentage points from last week’s report but is still two weeks behind normal.
As concerns grow about the food we eat, American farmers are facing increased scrutiny and criticism. Now, the farming industry is going on the offensive with a new film premiering May 1.
Wet weather continues to keep Minnesota farmers out of their fields, but the rain is helping improve soil moisture. In the latest crop report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says only 1.7 days were rated suitable for fieldwork statewide last week. That compares with an average of 3.2 days.
A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota’s “Buy the Farm” law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits the CapX2020 project against Cedar Summit Farm near New Prague (prayg), a dairy that fills glass bottles on site and feeds its cows a 100 percent grass diet.
Spring fieldwork is off to a late start because of winter’s stubborn grip on Minnesota. But yields shouldn’t be hurt as long as farmers can get into their fields soon after Easter. Southeastern Minnesota got a fresh dusting of snow Monday. But fieldwork has barely begun. The forecast calls for below-normal temperatures with the possibility of more snow. Yet southern Minnesota is rapidly approaching the traditional start of its ideal period for planting corn.
The annual Minnesota Grown Directory is now available. The directory is a statewide guide to purchasing directly from local producers. The 2014 edition lists a record 978 farms and includes the most community supported agriculture farms and farmers markets yet. It also offers a growing number of family friendly activities.
The persistent snow is delaying the beginning of fieldwork on farms across Minnesota. In its first weekly crop progress and condition report of the season for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says last week’s heavy snow is one reason why no days were rated suitable for fieldwork last week. Planting of some early crops such as oats usually begins around now.
Most Minnesota farm families could get an extra $260 in property tax relief per year under legislation that’s meant to ease the squeeze they’re feeling between rising property taxes and falling crop prices.
A government report says Minnesota farmers plan to plant more soybeans in 2014 but the same amount of corn as last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that Minnesota farmers plan to plant 8.6 million acres of corn, unchanged from 2013.
Some are calling it the future of farming — a technique that will provide local fresh produce year-round in the Twin Cities. Right now lettuce, kale, and herbs are ready for harvest in St. Paul.
Lawmakers and political experts say the dwindling numbers of farmers, ranchers and others who make their living off the land affects not just agricultural policy but other rural concerns — highways, health care, schools and high-speed Internet access.
While winter has been unforgiving to most of the Midwest, the next several months will dictate the season’s impact on all-important sectors, such as shipping and farming. Fast-melting snow in the northern Midwest likely won’t be able to soak into the frozen ground.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But Minnesota farmers say the free trade accord has not exactly been fair. Fresh from a NAFTA 20 year anniversary get together in Mexico City, Doug Peterson brought back a failing report card for the accord.
Frank and Chris have had a chance to enjoy the great community of Waseca over the last couple days. Here in southern Minnesota, farming is a big deal. And just outside Waseca, you can check out the state’s agricultural interpretive center, called Farmamerica. The center opened in 1978 with the goal of preserving Minnesota’s agricultural heritage.