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Farmers take advantage of dry weather to start planting: Many acres will still go unplanted

A wet fall followed by a hard winter followed by flooding and a wet spring has made getting any fieldwork done in the area nearly impossible.

With a week of dry weather for the first week of June, many farmers decided to plant some corn where they could, even though that meant a dock in crop insurance coverage. The last day to plant corn for full insurance coverage was May 31. The last day for soybeans was June 10.

Joel Westra Jr., who farms near Chancellor, said he farms in Lincoln and Turner counties. They have the same insurance cutoff dates.

“Right now we’re losing 1 percent per day on corn,” he said.

Westra was able to plant a couple of quarters of corn three weeks ago.

“Since then we’ve seen some pretty heavy rains on top of it and made emergence a big issue,” Westra said. “Tiled ground is basically the only thing we’ve been able to run on right now. Anything else is still too wet to even attempt.”

Last week he planted 80 acres and a quarter of corn. With those acres in, they will have half of their corn in.

“About half of our corn acres will be prevent plant. I don’t know what we’ll do with beans. I’m guessing most of them will be prevent plant as well,” Westra said. “It’s a tough year.”

Shelby Buus was cultivating a field south of Lennox last Friday. That was the second field he and his dad had worked on. They have planted about 50 acres of corn and were planning to do 40 acres. He said they were going to try to plant some soybeans yet.

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