Crop Planting Way Behind, But Not All Bad News
(VIBORG, SD) - Another rainy day stalls farmers from planting crops. With all the wet weather we've had this spring, Siouxland farmers are way behind, but it's not all bad news.According to the weekly USDA survey, only eight percent of this year's crop is planted in Iowa. Corn planting is 14 percent complete in Nebraska and just seven percent complete in South Dakota. Compare that to a regional average of 45 percent by this time over the last five years.
Farmer John Schaeffer of Schaeffer Farms in Viborg, South Dakota says it may be a slow start for him and other farmers, but it's a heck of a lot better than last year.
On rainy days Schaeffer can't do much in the field. So he spends his time getting his gear ready for action. "Has been a slow progress thus far, but I guess it's kind of a blessing we've gotten the rain we have. We were so dry coming off last year. Like one old guy told me once that it's better to be too wet than not have enough rain," said Schaeffer. Quite the comparison to last year when Schaeffer had all of his crops planted and his cows out to pasture. "And this year we're only half done with corn and still feeding all the cows. So it's going to be one of those years we stay behind. We're going to tassel a couple weeks later than normal. We're going to harvest probably later," said Schaeffer. But the sight of the green grass around the area is a good sign, Schaeffer said. "I'm just glad it started raining," he said. "It just makes me feel so much better coming off of last year was such a devastating year for us - in not just the crop guy, but the livestock guy with the feed situation and everything else." As the saying goes, a little rain never hurt anyone. "Extra precipitation does not bother me because we aren't super, super wet in this area. We've still got creeks that are dry and stock dams that are dry," he said. Schaeffer said he doesn't know what to expect quite yet until we see how this summer pans out. After all, you can't control the weather.
While planting's off to a slow start, the USDA expects this to be a record-breaking year in the end. It's projecting a combined 174 million acres of corn and soybeans across the country.