MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While crop and livestock prices may not be doing well in the market, there is reason to hope.

“We’ve probably taken diggers and planters into places not farmed in 3 to 5 years,” said Dave Pfarr who farms near Le Sueur.

It’s a tale of two springs. Last year in some areas, nearly 50% of farmers didn’t get their corn and soybeans planted. This spring, corn is a month ahead of last year and soybeans aren’t far behind. For Pfarr, spring success often leads to a favorable fall.

“When everything goes well for the first three months you almost can’t pull yield all the way at the end,” said Pfarr.

When it comes to corn and soybeans there’s potential for a banner year as far as production goes. But many unknowns still remain for farmers.

What’s happening with hogs and other livestock could impact demand for feed and corn. And with fewer people on the roads, less demand for fuel could also be a factor.

“The lack of demand for petroleum. Less miles driven has an impact on ethanol use as well,” said Dave Nicolai, U of M Extension educator.

Farmers know they can’t control the weather or a pandemic, but they can put themselves in position to capitalize when things do turn around.

“Having the bushels per acre is part of the formula that’s needed to be successful at the end of the year,” said Nicolai. “I can’t remember in many years simultaneously planting corn and soybeans in the same week in mid-April. It’s almost unheard of.”

One part of the state that is struggling this planting season is northwestern Minnesota where many farmers haven’t been able to get into their fields due to wet conditions.

John Lauritsen

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