DAYTON, Minn. — The heavy rain is not helping farmers across the state.
Fields are still so wet, some farmers who are anxious to start planting are nearly getting their tractors stuck.
Brad Dehn farms about 2,400 acres in Dayton and near Buffalo. He says he planted some soybeans this week, but is nowhere near done yet.
"We had a three-inch rain event last time you were out and we had an inch a couple days later," said Dehn, who KARE 11 first met about 10 days ago. "We have fields that the water has gone down, but they're so saturated that they won't carry our equipment."
Dehn tried to make another pass with his tractor Friday on his property in Dayton, but nearly got stuck in the damp soil, forcing him to put it in park once again. The lifelong farmer called it disappointing and said the clock is ticking.
"At some point you have to evaluate whether the insurance coverage that you have is enough to warrant continuing to plant or switch into a different crop," said Dehn.
Another option is to stop planting altogether and collect crop insurance. The deadline to qualify for full crop insurance for corn is May 31. After that, it drops every day by a percentage point. The deadline for soybeans is June 10.
The decisions this late in the game will likely impact everything from a farmer's yield to their bottom line, and food prices at the grocery store.
It's a looming reality since the latest Department of Agriculture report shows only 35% of corn and 11% of soybeans are planted across Minnesota.
Ninety-four percent of corn and 85% of soybeans were planted at this time last year.
"I would say it’s going to take another week of dry, no rain with some wind and some heat preferably," said Dehn, who's balancing being both an optimist and a gambler.
"It's part of farming," he said. "Some years are good, some years aren't. This one will go down in memory."
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