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Corn Planting Lagging At Record Level

May 21, 2019 06:59 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's been a tough start to the growing season for corn farmers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

But it's been even *tougher* in other parts of the corn belt.

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And the question now is "what comes next?"

"This is again a reminder that, as farmers, mother nature has the final say," Nick Schiltz said.

With the kind of wet spring we've had, bare farm fields are not an uncommon site. And a new report says we're not just seeing them here.

“According to the USDA, U-S corn farmers have the most corn left to plant ever,” said Nick Schiltz, an ag science faculty member at Riverland Community College in Austin. “States like Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska are about 70 percent completed. In Illinois, only about 20 percent of the corn is planted. In Indiana, 14 percent."

Over the last 5 years, an average of 80 percent of the nation's corn would be planted by now.

This year, just 49 percent is in the ground.

"How will farmers compensate?” ag instructor Nick Schiltz asked. “Will they move for example to a shorter maturity hybrid?"

Another option could be switching to soybeans. But US beans have become a focal point of the tariff war with China.

"The price isn't there for the farmer to make any money, “said Tim Chicos at Northern Country Co-op in Lansing. “I know it's a shorter growing season, but with the unpredictability of the Chinese and whoever's going to use the product, you don't know. it's a guessing game."

"It isn't too late to salvage the season quite yet" Nick Schiltz explained.

“We're so much more advanced, but still with the wet weather and the cold weather you still have to have mother nature to come along with us and give us some decent weather so the crop grows,” Northern County Co-op’s Tim Chicos said. “It's a tough situation."

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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