Weather slows early plantings in the Corn Belt

While the “I” states are waiting for better weather, corn plantings are picking up in drier corners of farm country.

Spring planting season has arrived, but varying spring weather is preventing a fast pace in some parts of farm country. While others struggling with drought are managing to get crops in the ground.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Farm Progress gathered feedback from the field and learned the “I” states, which include the top producers in the Corn Belt, only saw maybe three days suitable for fieldwork last week.

Southeast & Midwest Makes Moves

On the other hand, progress has advanced more quickly further south with producers in Oklahoma and Missouri reporting near completion.

Key growing regions in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest are waiting on rain. So far, 6 percent of the anticipated 2024 acres have been planted.

Better weather has allowed planters to start moving in southwestern Illinois this week.

A farmer in Randolph County started putting some corn in the ground this week but says the wind has been terrible for spraying or putting on dry fertilizer. Ground temperatures, though, are at 58 degrees, which is optimal for the crops. As of Monday, 3 percent of corn and 4 percent of soybeans have been planted in Illinois.

Minnesotans in Drought

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the growing season is getting off to a dry start. Farmers are facing anywhere from abnormal to moderate levels of drought.

A producer in Kittson County told Brownfield Ag News that normally they receive a pretty nice white blanket of snow, but this year it was far less than normal. She is calling it a dry, brown winter, and is concerned about how the crop season is going to go if they don’t start receiving some moisture.

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After years of drought, farmers across U.S. farm country are getting so much rainfall that it’s dampening their spring planting progress later into the season.

Marion is a digital content manager for RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel. She started working for Rural Media Group in May 2022, bringing a decade of experience in the digital side of broadcast media as well as some professional cooking experience to the team.
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