Late spring arrival narrows growing season for Minnesota farmers

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There's no major concerns yet, but our April snowstorms have pushed back planting dates and kept Minnesota farmers out of the fields.

The Star Tribune says a third of the state's corn crop is usually in the ground by now, but there’s been almost no planting so far this year.

Fortunately, the wet spring is improving drought conditions across Minnesota, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“I’m happy to be where we are at with soil moisture,” Jerry Demmer, a veteran corn and soybean farmer near Albert Lea, told the newspaper “Everything is ready to roll, just waiting to get into the field. I’m excited to get going — that’s the farmer in me. Every year is different. It’s like a kid with a new toy at Christmas.”

Last month, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Minnesota corn farmers intend to plant 9 million acres this spring -- 4 percent more than last year’s record crop.

Fox 9 says our delayed spring weather could also impact the growing shortage of hay.

"Right now hay is $240 a ton. An average 1000-pound horse is going to eat about 20-25 pounds of hay per day," Equine Extension specialist Krishona Martinson told the station."So you have a drought, there's less hay; you have a stronger demand, you have less hay. You're going to see the increase in prices."

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