Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
George Dunn checks over a digger shovel Thursday while tilling a field for his son, Troy, south of Sunburg. Field work is beginning one to two weeks ahead of schedule this year. Predicted week-end rains would be welcome, but could slow down progress. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

Spring field work gets rolling

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

SUNBURG -- If he was a betting man, George Dunn would have laid money last week that fields would be too wet this week for tilling and planting. He would've lost his wager.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Dunn, a retired manager for Harvest Land Cooperative, was in the field Thursday running a digger for his son, Troy, who was planting corn in an adjoining field.

"A week ago, I didn't think we'd be doing this," said George Dunn as he got off the tractor to check a digger shovel.

Until late this week, most of the field work had been restricted to the south central and southeast parts of Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Crop-Weather Report that was released Monday.

A rainy fall, plenty of snow this winter and a cool, wet spring have kept many fields wet in west central Minnesota. Recent warm temperatures, and Thursday's wind, made it possible for some producers in the region to start tilling and planting corn.

The soil conditions are "just perfect right now," Dunn said. "We could actually use some rain."

Soil conditions vary greatly from region to region and even from field to field in terms of moisture, soil temperature and even frost.

Producers are being "very selective" of which fields are being worked now, said Wes Nelson, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County.

Fields with heavier soils may be too wet and cold. Some fields that are dry on the top couple inches may still have frost deeper down, he said. Farmers need to be careful not to get into fields too early and pack the seed bed.

"We don't want to rush it," Nelson said. "We're not at all late by any means."

Typically, the last week of April and the first week of May are the biggest corn planting times in Minnesota. "We're about a week ahead of what is considered ideal," he said.

With a winter that was long and cold, it's not hard to understand why farmers are eager to get in the fields. "We really appreciate the spring weather more this year," Nelson said.

Advertisement
Carolyn Lange
A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
(320) 894-9750
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness