Early planting continues despite cool, wet weatherGRAND FORKS — Despite the cool, wet weather last week, farmers got lots of acres planted to small grains and sugar beets in North Dakota and Minnesota, keeping well ahead of average spring seeding schedules.
By: Stephen J. Lee, The Dickinson Press
GRAND FORKS — Despite the cool, wet weather last week, farmers got lots of acres planted to small grains and sugar beets in North Dakota and Minnesota, keeping well ahead of average spring seeding schedules.
The open, drying fields in Grand Forks County could be seen drifting in many locations Tuesday as air-seeding rigs marched across quarter-sections of dark soil, even while 86 percent of the subsoil was rated as having adequate or surplus moisture.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress reports in each state:
North Dakota farmers had planted 27 percent of the spring wheat acres by Sunday, up from 17 percent a week earlier and way ahead of the five-year average of 2 percent by April 15. They had planted 16 percent of the durum wheat and 17 percent of the barley, compared to 1 percent by the same date in the five-year average.
Minnesota farmers had 56 percent of their spring wheat planted by Sunday, outstripping the five-year average of 6 percent by April 15.
Corn acres in North Dakota were 3 percent planted and in Minnesota, 7 percent of the corn ground was seeded; both states’ farmers plan to seed a record amount of acres to corn this year.
Sugar beet growers had planted 24 percent of their acres in Minnesota, and 13 percent in North Dakota, all done last week and far ahead of the average rate.
Lee is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.