Skip to main content

May Day for farmers? Not quite, but Minnesota falling behind on planting

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

All of this week's rain could bode well for Minnesota's crops. If farmers can ever get them planted, that is.

The Associated Press reports the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that at a time of year when farmers typically have nearly one-third of their corn planted, only 4 percent is in the ground.

The discrepancy for spring wheat was even greater with just 2 percent planted compared to a five-year average of 39 percent, the USDA said.

University of Minnesota corn specialist Jeff Coulter tells the Pioneer Press the last week of April and first week of May are usually prime time for planting. But the cold, wet weather has so far prevented most farmers from getting into their fields.

Brian Thalmann, who farms near Plato in McLeod County, told KARE 11 five inches of rain have fallen on his land since Wednesday. He says not only do fields need to be dry for planting, but the soil temperature needs to be at least 50 degrees for seeds to germinate properly.

The USDA numbers show that among the 18 top corn growing states none is as far behind its planting average as Minnesota, Dairy Herd Management notes. Nationwide 19 percent of the corn is planted, which is behind the 5-year average of 28 percent.

But there is a bright side to all the rain.

The Pioneer Press reports big sections of southern and western Minnesota were still classified as being in a drought. These several days of rain should change that, even if they do push planting a little further down the calendar.

Getting grains planted by the middle of May is critical to allow for a full growing season before frost arrives in the fall. But the U of M's Coulter tells the Pioneer Press: "Assuming the rain does stop this week and farmers are able to get their crops planted in a reasonable time, then we should be set up pretty good."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 12.54.22 PM

MOA theater to debut wrap-around, 270-degree movie screen

The new technology will expand the movie screen onto the side walls of the theater auditorium.

Trevor Scott May

Driver ejected in fatal Roseville crash identified as 30-year-old

The crash temporarily shutdown westbound Highway 36.

Kim Crockett

Endorsed candidate's campaign video used antisemitic trope at MN GOP convention

The video aired before GOP-backed secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett's speech at the state party convention.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, May 18

More than 2,000 new cases in today's report.

Thomas Lane

Ex-cop Thomas Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd killing

The former Minneapolis police officer appeared in court on Wednesday morning.

14 W Main St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - September 2021

2 dead after driver flees cop in Coon Rapids, crashes in Anoka

The double-fatal crash happened on Main Street near Ferry Street in Anoka.

Adam Hunter Pattishall.

Fleeing suspect charged in crash that left husband dead, wife critical

Daniel Joseph Fisher, 57, died from multiple blunt force injuries in a crash Sunday. His wife, Cathleen, is in critical condition as of Tuesday.

storm, severe weather

Threat of severe weather returns to Minnesota for 2 days

Isolated severe storms Wednesday, followed by scattered severe storms Thursday.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 injured in crash at intersection in Ramsey

The crash happened at the intersection of Bunker Lake Blvd. and Sunfish Lake Blvd.

Related