HOWARD LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but these are not the bodies of water Dave Marquardt likes to see.
“It gives a little bit of sleepless nights, I guess you could say,” Marquardt said.
He farms 800 acres of land in Howard Lake, keeping cows and harvesting a variety of crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.
Right now, he should be out getting things ready but instead, both he and his red field cultivator are sitting on the sidelines.
“In a perfect world, I would like to start planting corn next Monday … the way things are right now, we are not going to be doing it on Monday, that’s for sure,” Marquardt said.
He had planned on planting next week, but the snow melt combined with heavy rain has made that impossible.
“Once that planting date gets later and later, we can guarantee our production will go down,” Marquardt said. “It’s been too wet to basically do anything at all right now.”
Last year was the latest he’s ever planted with wheat going in on the last day of April and corn on May 5.
Marquardt isn’t surprised the season is delayed again this year, given the late snowfall. Flooding on the Mississippi is also presenting the farm with another problem.
“We can’t haul grain right now … revenue that we’re expecting to have coming in this time of year to pay for this seed. We just have to wait for the river to go down before we can get any of that,” said Marquardt.
He’s not alone in this holding pattern. Farmers from many parts of the state are dealing with saturated ground, making Marquardt extra thankful he has crop insurance.