U.S. Department of Agriculture
Minnesota farmers were able to get a lot of field work done last week, thanks to the lack of rain. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 6.2 days suitable for field work in Minnesota for the week ending Sunday. That marks the most days suitable for any week so far this season.
Minnesota farmers are coming off their best week for fieldwork in nearly a month. Drier conditions gave farmers 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota says the weather allowed many farmers to catch up on herbicide and fertilizer spraying, and to make progress on the first cutting of alfalfa hay. Some farmers were able to replant soybeans and corn in drowned out areas.
Widespread rain in the past week has delayed Minnesota farmers who are trying to finish planting. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the rain has left soil saturated and stressed crops. Wet fields also are hampering crop spraying and the first cutting of hay.
Wet conditions are delaying a final planting push by Minnesota farmers. Ninety-six percent of Minnesota’s expected corn acreage has been planted, which is just 1 percentage point behind the five-year average. Soybean planting is 86 complete. That’s 3 points behind the five-year average.
Minnesota farmers have been able to make gains planting corn, despite continued wet and cool weather. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 20 percent of Minnesota’s corn crop was planted last week.
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.
New federal data show the number of farms in Minnesota fell 8 percent from 2007 to 2012, while the market value of agricultural products the state’s farmers sold increased by 61 percent over the same five-year period.
Snow and cold continue to put field work on ice at farms across Minnesota.
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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend millions of dollars to help farmers and ranchers improve pastures in five Midwestern states to provide food for the nation’s struggling honeybees under a program to be announced Tuesday.
The value of U.S. crops fell 9.8 percent last year as prices declined for major crops, including corn and soybeans, from 2012’s record high levels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual estimate.
University of Minnesota researchers have confirmed a new invasive fruit fly in Minnesota. A single adult female known as the African fig fly was discovered in a bait trap in September. The trap was located in Hastings and was being used for annual monitoring of another invasive fruit fly, the spotted wing Drosophila. The university says the new fly specimen was officially identified this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Minnesota farmers have nearly finished their corn harvest despite cold temperatures and snow over the past week.
New estimates show the cold, wet spring and a summer drought failed to put a big dent in Minnesota’s corn harvest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Minnesota’s corn production this year at 1.33 billion bushels. That’s down just 3 percent from last year’s record harvest.
Soybean maturity has rapidly advanced in Minnesota in the last week, but soybean maturity still lags behind the normal pace.