More than 1,000 counties across the Midwest are listed as agricultural disaster areas. Not one is in Minnesota, though. In fact, the latest report shows only 15 percent of the state is very short of moisture. As for the corn and soybean crops, more than 75 percent are in fair to good shape.
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Minnesota crops weather the storms
Most of Minnesota's corn and soybean crops continue to thrive, despite last week's torrential rain and destructive weather. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports 83 percent of Minnesota corn is rated in good or excellent condition. As for soybeans, 74 percent of the acres are in good or excellent shape.
Record incomes helps Minnesota farming attract younger people
Corn and soybean prices are near historic highs and that's drawing a new generation to crop farming. The president of the Minnesota Farmers Union told The Oklahoman the new interest is a welcome sign after the average age of a Minnesota farmer hit 55.3 in 2007. “You have to have new people to come into any business or industry if it is to stay alive," Doug Peterson said.
High crop prices attracting new blood to farming
Record high prices for corn and soybeans have more Minnesotans looking to give farming a try. But the toughest part of getting started is finding an affordable piece of land. The demand for farmland is pushing up rents, which have risen more than 50 percent in five years.
Farmers making progress on early corn and soybean harvests
It's only mid-September, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 12 percent of Minnesota's corn crop is already harvested. The Pioneer Press notes that is roughly three weeks earlier than last year. The soybean harvest is also well ahead of the five-year average with 16 percent complete.
USDA: Minnesota farmers will plant seven percent more corn in 2012
However, soybean and wheat crops will drop as much as eight percent because corn is more profitable. Minnesota's corn crop was valued at $7 billion last year. Corn planting is also expected to increase about four percent nationwide.
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