Minnesota Farmer

Planting season recon

I’m just back from a trip to south central Nebraska to visit with my newest grand-daughter.  As all farmers do, I did a little recon along the way, checking up on what other farmers are doing in their fields.  I was expecting to see planters working the fields from Omaha west, but not snow on the ground.

The whole area from western Iowa to central Kansas received some welcome moisture, but for many it came in the form of snow.  The remnants of drifts were evident for most of my trip.  Yes, daytime temperatures melted most of it before I came back, but the presence of snow does not make one want to plant corn.

The winter wheat was up and looking good in Nebraska, but there were obvious spots of winter kill.  Time will tell how this crop fares.  There was also evidence of spring wheat and oats planting, both crops can take a bit of cold and keep on growing.  That we are hard on to corn planting season and the weather is not cooperating is disturbing.

The upper midwest record cold of this past winter is still hanging on and is evident in the amount of ice on the great lakes.650x366_04180637_hd21There is a huge amount ice left and this will continue to hold temperatures down.  To have snow on the ground from Minneapolis to Roseau and points east only helps to hold us in the deep freeze.  We’re going to need some warm spring rains to make a change here and that will not happen as long as the wind continues out of the north.

Our calendars are now shifting to the U of MN recommended planting dates for Southern Minnesota and we have little or no sign of the temperatures we need to start planting.  For our area April 23 is the recommended start of planting.  I had already decided to wait until the 28th, but if it does not warm soon I may have to revise my schedule.  Stay tuned.



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