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Planting is pretty much a wrap in North Dakota, Minnesota

Spring row crop planting across the United States has been slowed by wet weather. Herald file photo

Most of the small grains crops in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota are in the ground.

All of North Dakota’s spring wheat was planted as of June 2, according to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service. In Minnesota, farmers had planted 95% of their spring wheat acreage.

“Wheat essentially is finished,” said Chris Kolstoe, CHS Agronomy Department manager in Warren, Minn.

Minnesota farmers planned to plant 1.5 million acres of wheat this year and North Dakota farmers planned 7.5 million acres, the U.S. Agriculture Department March planting intentions report said. Farmers may have adjusted the acreage they intended to plant based on field conditions, market prices and availability of seed and fertilizer.

While spring wheat planting was finished, row crop planting was wrapping up in CHS’s trade area in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, Kolstoe said Tuesday.

“There are still some edible beans, soybeans, sunflowers, going in,” he said.

Though most farmers in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota were able to plant the row crops acres they intended, further south, thousands of acres likely will not be planted.

In North Dakota, 19% of the corn and 30% of the soybeans had not been planted, according to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service. Minnesota farmers still had 24% of the corn crop and slightly less than half — 49% — of the soybean crop to plant as of Sunday, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reported.

Farmers in North Dakota planned to plant 4 million acres of corn and Minnesota farmers planned 8 million acres, the March USDA report said. Soybean acreage was expected to be 7.3 million in Minnesota and 6.5 million in North Dakota, according to the report.

Because it’s too late in the season to get optimal yields if farmers continue planting, most of the acres in North Dakota and Minnesota that aren’t planted by the end of the week likely won’t be, crops experts say.

North Dakota and Minnesota farmers whose wet fields made it a struggle to get crops planted this spring had plenty of company.

Corn Belt states, such as Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the top three corn states, respectively, have not finished planting. In Iowa, where farmers are expected to plant 4 million acres, 80% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, the National Agricultural Statistics Service said. That is the least amount of corn planted by June 2 since 1982, when 76% of the crop was planted by that date.

Corn planting in Illinois is even further behind schedule. Only 45% of the crop was planted as of June 2, the National Agricultural Statistics Service said. In the past five years, corn planting typically has been finished by that date. Nebraska corn planting also lagged, with 80% of the crop planted as of Sunday.

Iowa farmers planned to plant 13.6 million acres of corn, Illinois farmers planned 11.5 million acres and Nebraska farmers planned 9.7 million, the USDA report said.

The slow planting pace and potential for hundreds of thousands of unplanted corn acres in May resulted in one of the biggest corn price rallies in recent history. The Chicago July futures price rose from a low of $3.43 per bushel May 13 to a high of $4.38 per bushel on May 29.

Wheat prices, meanwhile, rallied because of dry soil conditions in Canada and Australia and concern about the condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop.

Those concerns will be on the minds of grain traders, and the markets this summer are likely to be volatile as a result.

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