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Planters rolling in western Corn Belt; delays continue further east

Agriculture.com Staff 04/20/2009 @ 1:23pm

As the calendar turns to the homestretch of April, corn and soybean planting progress is best described as a mixed bag.

Some farmers say the planting conditions are as good as they've ever seen, and they'll be spending a fair amount of time pulling the planter this week. But, the weather delays continue in other areas, making folks wonder if a wheel will turn by month's end.

"You probably would have a hard time convincing farmers in the eastern Corn Belt, but this is going to be a big week of corn planting in the Midwest," according to Monday's Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., Weather Market Commentary. The former area was still soggy Monday, but the drydown in the western Corn Belt should stretch slowly eastward as the week goes on, Freese-Notis adds.

He's not alone. Agriculture Online Marketing Talk member mike in mo. says his area's seen almost three inches of rain in the last week or so, and though he's gotten some fieldwork done, that's rare.

"We have maybe 20% of our anhydrous on. Most guys have done nothing," mike in mo. says. "This is our third wet season in a row and it's getting real frustrating. Almost nauseating. Some fields need terraces repaired from last year's wet weather before anything is done."

Despite tough conditions like that in his area, Farmers for the Future social network member Jeff Kazin says he's still hoping for a relatively short planting timeframe.

"The weather forecast for the Ohio Valley is improving into the middle of next week. We could be rolling by Friday or Saturday of next week," Kazin said late last week. "In my dream world, I would be done with corn and beans 10 days from now."

As the calendar turns to the homestretch of April, corn and soybean planting progress is best described as a mixed bag.

It's a different story in other areas: Planting's taking off in places like northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, where farmers could have their corn in the ground by the end of next week if the dry forecast holds true.

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