According to the latest USDA crop progress report, Minnesota had 5.1 days suitable for field work last week. Minnesota farmers wasted no time in taking advantage of the warm and dry weather to start planting corn — corn that will put food on our plates, fuel in our vehicle’s tanks and used as an input in thousands of consumer products such as tennis shoes and sun screen.
Thirteen percent of Minnesota’s corn crop — or over 1 million acres — was planted by the end of last week. That’s eight days ahead of the five-year average and three days ahead of last year’s pace. Iowa is also at 13 percent while Illinois stands at 12 percent.
The amount of corn planted so far in Minnesota this spring would cover approximately 757,575 football fields. In baseball terms, the amount of Minnesota corn already in the ground would fill up all of Target Field — including dugouts and bleachers — more than 95,238 times.
Minnesota farmers are expected to plant 8.2 million acres of corn this spring, which would be a 100,000-acre increase over last year. Of course, weather and other factors in the coming weeks will impact what the actual planting numbers turn out to be.
From all of us at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association: Best of luck to all farmers this planting season and thank you for growing food, feed, fiber and fuel for an increasing world population. Stay safe this spring and here’s to another bumper crop!