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Farmers planting dilemma: better late or never?

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With more wet weather in the forecast, Minnesota farmers may have to decide whether to roll the dice by finishing their planting later in June or just admit that some fields won't produce a crop this year.

A good stretch of planting in early May was interrupted by rain and in many areas farmers have not been able to get back into their fields. As the Associated Press reports, the USDA estimates 87 percent of Minnesota's corn crop and 55 percent of soybeans are in the ground.

One University of Minnesota expert says there's a consensus among corn agronomists that it might be best to give up on fields not planted by about the 10th of June. Soybeans have a longer window of time for planting, but at the cost of diminished yields.

A separate AP story looks at the range of conditions across the middle of the country. While Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are waterlogged, fields in Indiana and Ohio are in excellent shape and those in Kansas and Nebraska are still suffering from drought.

The prospect of a smaller harvest this fall is already pushing up grain prices. That adds another wrinkle to the decisions farmers must make. Agri-News reports many will need to decide soon if they're going to throw in the towel on some of this year's crop because deadlines for filing crop insurance claims are drawing near.

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