MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A cool, wet spring has presented a lot of challenges, especially for farmers.

Friday is decision-day for corn farmers when it comes to crop insurance coverage. But in some parts of the state, they haven’t even had a chance to get in their fields yet.

WCCO’s John Lauritsen shows us what the future holds for this growing season.

“This has been one of the most challenging years since I’ve been involved in Extension,” said Dave Nicolai, with the University of Minnesota Extension.

A wet spring with rain and even snow is to blame, but cool temperatures haven’t helped farmers either.

Planting corn by late April is ideal. Planting in late May is just the opposite.

“Right now we’re in a condition where we lost yield we can’t make up the rest of the year,” explained Nicolai.

Nicolai says some farmers in southwestern Minnesota won’t get their crop in this year. In fact, the USDA reports that only 66% of corn has been planted in the state, compared to 91% at this time last year.

The good news is corn prices are up because most of the Midwest is having the same problem.

And it’s no secret what farmers need right now: a run of days with no rain, plenty of sun, and a little bit of wind to dry out these fields.

“In south-central Minnesota, we’re fairly wet,” said Dave Pfarr.

Pfarr is an agronomist and farmer. He says some growers may decide to take insurance and plant a cover crop, but it won’t be as profitable as a normal growing season. Pfarr says that the silver lining is that Mother Nature may finally be cooperating.

“I can see some enthusiasm to get this planted. Hopefully, in the next two weeks we can get most of this done if the weather cooperates,” said Pfarr.

The USDA says soybeans are also behind.

Right now about 35% of soybeans have been planted in Minnesota, compared to 75% at this time last year.

John Lauritsen

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