abc
QUICK LINKS:

Minnesota Farmers Race to Finish Corn Planting

Updated: 05/22/2014 1:35 PM
Created: 05/22/2014 9:48 AM WDIO.com

LE SUEUR, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota farmers are racing to finish corn planting ahead of a key deadline set by the federal crop insurance program.

The late, rainy spring has resulted in muddy fields, slowing down corn planting in Minnesota and some other parts of the Midwest. Each type of grain must be planted by a certain date for farmers to get full insurance benefits if there's a crop fail later in the year. May 31 is the cutoff date for planting corn for grain for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, where most of the state's corn is grown, while it's Monday for northern Minnesota. Insurance benefits are reduced for corn planted after that.

Le Sueur farmer Bob Braun told The Free Press of Mankato his family has planted 780 acres of corn so far, as well as all their peas, but the bulk of their land remains to be planted.

"We went hard from Friday night to Sunday night, but just on our sandy ground," he said. Heavy rain Monday meant more delays, he said. Some of their land has received nearly 10 inches of rain since April 1.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn planting was 53 percent complete statewide as of Sunday, 28 percentage points behind the five-year average. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, asked the USDA's Risk Management Agency this week to push back the deadline for some northwestern counties where fields have been particularly wet. However, the RMA says it doesn't have the authority to do that.

Besides possibly losing some insurance benefits, late-planted corn can have lower yields. Varieties with longer maturities tend to produce the most. Tony Weis of DuPont Pioneer seed in Mankato said farmers will have to start deciding soon whether to swap their longer-maturing corn seed for seed with shorter maturities.

Braun said he'll keep planting corn up until June 15. If it goes later than that, they'd plant the rest with soybeans, which mature more quickly.

Braun was Minnesota's state winner the 2013 National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest. He placed first in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated category with 217.7 bushels per acre. He said the younger relatives in the family farm business are more concerned than he is.

"After you do it 35 years, you see the seasons come and seasons go and we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I get a little anxious too, but if (planting is) late, it won't be fatal."

___

Information from: The Free Press

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

File photo

Front Page

  • Duluth School District Legal Battle Comes Before Federal Judge

    The legal battle against the Duluth School District came before a federal magistrate Friday in St. Paul. The judge oversaw settlement talks in the lawsuit school board member Art Johnston brought against the district and fellow board members....

  • Better News for Keetac: 175 Staying on for Maintenance During Shutdown

    Keewatin Taconite is in the process of shutting down production. And all 412 employees were put on notice they could be laid off. But the plan is to keep about 175 on for maintenance projects.

  • Emergency Response Safety Expo at Proctor School

    Lake Superior College Fire Tech Faculty, Proctor Police and Fire Departments, and representatives from the US Army and the Air National Guard hosted a safety expo at Proctor High School Friday morning. Officials were on hand to give demonstrations and show off some of the equipment used to students. Some students ran through a firefighting obstacle course that included a high-rise hose pack carry and a dummy drag.

  • Darryl Franklin Bowser, 32, is suspected of firing shots at a car in Duluth's Central Hillside neighborhood Thursday afternoon.  Police are asking for tips from the public to arrest Bowser on a possible charge of second-degree assault. Suspect Sought in Duluth Shots Fired Incident

    The Duluth Police Department is asking for public tips to help find a man suspected of firing shots in the Central Hillside neighborhood on Thursday afternoon. Police say they have probable cause to believe Darryl Franklin Bowser, 32, is the person who shot at a car.

  • Smoke continued to rise from a home in South Range, Wis., hours after the fire began Friday. Fire Destroys South Range Home

    Fire destroyed a home in the South Range area near Superior on Friday morning.  Smoke continued to rise from the hours after the fire began.  No one was injured.

 
Advertisement