A fast forward planting season

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Every major crop in Minnesota has blasted past five-year averages in panting progress this year, by a wide margin, according to the latest report of NASS-Minnesota (USDA).

“Corn planting was 73 percent complete, compared to 20 percent last year and 53 percent for the five-year average,” according to the May 7 Minnesota Ag News Crop Weather report. “Twelve percent of corn was emerged. Land prepared for soybeans was 39 percent complete. Nineteen percent of soybeans were planted, compared to 4 percent planted last year and 13 percent average.”

Minnesota even exceeds the average progress of the 18 major corn-producing states, though producers in all theses states are accomplishing planting progress faster than the five-year average. Nationally, corn producers had planted 71 percent of their corn acres as of this past Sunday, which compares to the average, from 2007 through 2011, of 47 percent.

“The weather is one of the most unpredictable aspects of our job, but this early spring warm up, coming along with the moisture we need is putting us in a very good position,” said John Mages, a farmer in Belgrade, Minnesota, and president of Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “Minnesota corn producers are taking the ball and running with it.”

As of Sunday, Iowa’s corn planting was 64 percent complete.

Early corn planting progress in Minnesota correlates with higher plant populations and higher yield, research by University of Minnesota has found.

Across Minnesota, a very welcome half-week of rain kept operators out of the fields and perhaps kept them from finishing the corn planting altogether. Following a drought that began in late July, rains in late April and the first week of May have replaced much of the missing moisture.

“Topsoil moisture was rated 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus,” the NASS crop weather report stated.

Locations across the central and southern tiers of the state saw rain amounts ranging from just over an inch in Aitkin (East Central region) to 5.84 inches in Pipestone in the southwest of the state.

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