Mother Nature hit corn farmers with a left hook in the form of a winter that would never end. Now she’s delivering an uppercut with day after day of rain and more cold temperatures.
Good thing Minnesota corn farmers can take a punch.
After a slow start, corn planting has bogged down in recent days due to constant rain and another blast of cold temperatures. Only 4 percent of the corn crop is in the ground according to the latest USDA crop progress report.
Four percent isn’t much, but at least it’s better than last year at this time when never-ending April showers kept corn farmers out of fields until May. Normally, 30 percent of Minnesota corn has been planted by this time based on five-year averages.
Nationally, 19 percent of the corn is in ground — well behind the five-year average of 28 percent, but ahead of last year’s pace (5 percent).
Despite last year’s slow and soggy start, corn farmers produced a record crop of 13.9 billion bushels. Minnesota corn farmers persevered to harvest over 1.3 billion bushels.
Here is the full USDA planting progress report for Minnesota.
Brian Thalmann, a corn farmer in Plato who also serves on the Minnesota Corn Growers Association board, welcomed a TV crew from KARE 11 to his farm on Monday. Brian’s farm has been soaked with 5 inches of rain over the last five days and it’s probably going to be a little while before he can get in his fields.