Skip to main content

Farmers race to get crops planted between rain storms

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Minnesota farmers whose fields are dry enough for planting are working overtime to get their crops in the ground. But others are still idled by soggy weather and face the prospect of a smaller harvest unless there's a quick warm-up and dry-out.

The Winona Post visited Duane Wirt of Lewiston, who was finally able to fire up his combine last week. Eager to make up for lost time, Wirt spent all day and much of the night working in the fields. He tells the Post he gets through the long hours "with a little Mountain Dew, a little chocolate, and a good radio station."

A spring that's been colder and wetter than normal has put Minnesota agriculture behind schedule. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says normally by now 62 percent of the state's corn crop is planted. This year half of that, 31 percent, is in the ground. Monday's report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that soybeans, sugar beets, and spring wheat are all less than ten percent planted.

While farmers like Wirt are working into the wee hours, his peers in the northwest may be envious.

AgWeek toured Polk County, an area that's seen a surge of corn planting in recent years. This year will interrupt that trend, the paper says. The grain elevator they visited was desolate at a time of year that's usually busy. The size of the decline in corn acreage will depend on if and when warmer, drier weather arrives.

The Winona Post explains that planting corn later than May 10 usually reduces yields. But not always. Last year, for example, the crop went in late but an unseasonably balmy autumn allowed the corn to flourish.

Up in the northwest, though, some cornfields might be turning into something else. AgWeek says soybeans can be safely planted later in the spring, so some farmers who had intended to plant corn may change their plans.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Related