Plant ’24: MN Soybean directors wait out the weather

Rain delays happen in baseball, NASCAR and, of course, farming.

The weather might have some feeling the need to sing the nursery rhyme, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” but Minnesota farmers aren’t worried about it. They’re preaching patience.

“The weather hasn’t put us too far behind yet,” Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Vice Chair Gail Donkers said.

The Faribault farmer said conditions have been soggy but they’re hopeful to be back in the field by around May 11-12.

A little farther north in Dumont, MSR&PC Chair Tom Frisch weighed in on the rain delays seen across the state.

He said in his area they have about a third of the soybeans and a third of the corn planted.

“We got about four or five days of planting in before last Friday (May 3),” Frisch said. “Then we just got going again on Monday (May 6) and we got rained out.”

In Polk County, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Mike Skaug had completed planting his spring wheat and most of his corn crop, but hadn’t started planting his soybean crop on account of the weather, but expected to start by around May 14.

“We’re not sweating it,” he said.

In southwest Minnesota, Brewster farmer and MSR&PC Director Ron Obermoller had similar things to say about the rain.

He said since April, he would guess between 8.5-9 inches of rain has fallen in his area, leading him to issue a proclamation.

“I’m going to declare the drought over, at least for now,” he said.

With three good days, he suspects they could be done for the season with planting.

“Before the rain started, we had probably a little bit over half of the corn planted and probably a fourth to a third of the soybeans planted,” Obermoller said. “There’s corn coming up, there’s soybeans coming up, but there’s also a lot left to plant.”

The one potential issue he mentioned he could foresee with what has been planted is the need to spray sooner than later and whether there will be enough operators to run a sprayer and a planter at the same time.

“That might be interesting yet, because I can guess we’re a week away from really doing much,” he said.

While the rain has paused planting for a bit, Obermoller said it’s a good time to haul corn and get other tasks done around the farm.

“The old saying is, ‘You plant in the dust, the bins will bust.’” Obermoller said. “There’s a certain amount of truth to that, but it’s a lot more comfortable planting when there’s moisture. It’ll be 80 degrees here pretty soon, so we’re in great shape.”

According to the USDA Crop Report May 5, 2024, Minnesota had planted about 17% of the state’s soybean crop.

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