Farmers face tough decisions from delayed planting

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The cool, wet spring has some Wisconsin farmers still waiting to plant corn and other crops.

The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 91 percent of the nation's corn is planted; normal for this time of year is 95 percent. Wisconsin is lagging other states with just 74 percent of its crop in the field.

John Ruedinger has only 100 of his 1,300 acres of corn in and about 50 of the several hundred acres of alfalfa he plans to grow to feed his 1,200 dairy cows. He says it's not so much rain that's a problem but cool temperatures and little sun mean ground just isn't drying out.

And then Ruedinger says that just when his land near Van Dyne does dry up, another storm hits.
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- It's decision time for many Midwest farmers stuck in one of the wettest springs ever: Plant or replant corn in muddy, puddled fields or collect crop insurance.

The USDA says 91 percent of the nation's corn is planted; normal for this time of year is 95 percent.

The water-logged states of Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota are all behind, but Wisconsin is the worst with just 74 percent planted.

Farmers still hope for a large harvest, which is possible if the weather cooperates. That would keep food and beverage prices steady.

A major worry is that the drought, which began last year in June, will return.

Corn and soybeans planted in wet soil do not develop deep roots. If it gets too dry too quick, it will spell disaster.


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