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Mucky Spring Forces Minn. Farmers to Make Tough Decisions

Updated: 06/11/2013 6:25 AM
Created: 06/10/2013 9:16 PM KSTP.com
By: Naomi Pescovitz

Minnesota farmers just can't catch a break. With rain day after day, the season is quickly passing by. Many crops are still unplanted.

"It's been a struggle. It's been basically 3-day windows to plant our corn, and now soybeans that aren't even planted all yet," said Kurt Schrader, corn and soybean farmer in Nerstrand, Minnesota.

The Schraders say the problem began with a 15-inch snow storm in early May. Since then, the season has been unpredictable.

"Start of the day, you have no idea what your plan is, because no field is ready to plant. And it was fly by the seat of our pants all spring," Schrader said.

Schrader and his family caught up fast. They were able to plant most of their corn and are finishing their last days of soybean crop now. Schrader knows other farmers were not as lucky.

"There are some farmers that didn't even get to turn a wheel this year," Schrader said.

Only 55 percent of the state's soybean crops have been planted compared to 97 percent last year.

87 percent of the state's corn crop has been planted, compared to 100 percent last year. Planting corn now may not be worth it.

"We have short season left and we do not have enough heat or enough days of warm weather really to get the corn to mature properly," said University of Minnesota Extension Soybean Agronomist Seth Naeve.

For corn and soybeans, farmers can get an insurance-type payment for crops they won't plant. But making that call can be risky and emotional.

"We're here to grow crops. Every farmer out here wants to grow a crop," Schrader said.


Minneapolis/St. Paul

Overcast
42°
50° | 44°
  • Feels like: 34° F
  • Wind: E 17mph
  • Humidity: 89%
  • Thu Showers possible
    54° | 40°
  • Fri Showers possible in the afternoon
    63° | 40°
  • Sat Mix of sun and clouds
    60° | 38°
  • Sun Windy with a few showers
    50° | 38°

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