The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 8, 2013

Crops making comeback

Wet spring delayed planting, may reduce yields this fall

After a few weeks of hot, sunny days, corn and soybeans are catching up despite a wet spring that delayed planting. But even those crops are still behind, and some corn and soybeans were put in so late that yields will likely suffer.

“We made incredible progress on corn and soybeans in last two weeks,” said Wayne Schoper, a farm business management instructor with South Central College. “Now we're getting to the point where we need some moisture.”

Bob Noy, who farms near Vernon Center, said most of the corn in Blue Earth County is in good shape.

“But it varies a lot from area to area,” he said.

Amboy-area farmer Gary Eisenmenger said corn planted in mid-May started out well.

“Guys who went hard got most of their crop in and started out looking pretty good,” he said.

But the rain kept on coming, and Eisenmenger had one field of corn with standing water for three weeks, except for a day and a half.

“That corn is all yellow and I truly don't think it'll make anything,” he said. “I don't think we're catching up.”

Though crop health varies within the Mankato region — generally better to the northwest and worst to the southeast — statewide data shows crops are still behind, overall.

The average corn stalk was 30 inches tall by Sunday, about 16 inches shorter than normal, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The average soybean plant was 8 inches tall, compared with the normal of 12 inches.

“This is probably one of the worst crops I've seen,” said Steve More, who farms about three miles southeast of St. Clair. He's been farming for more than 30 years.

More said his yields may be decent if they get enough rain, but adds that “you don't have to get very far south and east and it's not looking good."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News