MSGA directors plead for sunshine, warmth and a break from rain

June 6, 2024 / Categories: Uncategorized

As the 2024 planting season winds down, farmers are hoping for sunshine. Fingers crossed.

With their seeds mostly in the ground, directors from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) are gearing up to begin spraying their crops. They just need Mother Nature to cooperate.

“We were able to get a couple of days of spraying and we still have a bunch to do,” Director Brad Hovel reported from Goodhue County. “A couple days of sunshine and hopefully we can get back in and get some spraying done.”

Hovel is thankful to have more precipitation this year compared to the last couple of years, but he’s ready to finish spraying. Many parts of Minnesota have seen above-average rain totals this spring, preventing growers from being able to spray or finish planting.

On the other hand, some growers like their crop development so far.

“Friday to Monday morning this last week, my area saw anywhere from four to seven inches of rain.” Jamie Seitzer from Nicollet County said, “Crop is growing well, there are crops in stages from anywhere of V2 to V5.”

In Wilkin County, Jeremy Tischer said abnormally dry conditions over the past couple growing seasons in his area have contrasted with wet spring in 2024.

“Last summer was the driest I’ve seen in my 25 years of farming. We’ve gotten close to nine inches of rain since April 5th,” Tischer said, “We have been borderline wet for the last month, so we have not been able to get a tractor in the ground.”

Tischer added that he has not been able to spray in two weeks and does not think he will have to replant soybeans.

The story is much the same in Polk County, home of past MSGA President Mike Skaug.

“We have been struggling to get our spraying done,” said Skaug, who farms in Beltrami. “We got 3.2 inches of rain and multiple showers after that, there just hasn’t been enough drying time.”

In far northern Minnesota in Roseau County, Director Andy Pulk is putting the finishing touches on planting his 2024 crop.

“We’re about 70% seeded right now,” Pulk said. “The rain is like a sprinkler, it’s constantly on. They are very small rains, but we have also had cooler weather with very few sunny days.”

Even though most farmers are ready to start spraying, the June 3rd USDA Crop Progress Report indicates Minnesota has planted 80% of the state’s soybean crop, which is below the 2023 average (92%). Fortunately, the long-term weather outlook for the second week of June is favorable, with the forecast calling for dry, warm conditions – welcome news to Skaug and his colleagues.

“I am optimistic about the weather getting better,” Skaug said. “We need a little break from the rain.”

Minnesota farmers are expected to plant about 7.5 million acres of soybeans in 2024.

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