Spring planting is right around the corner - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Spring planting is right around the corner


NEAR ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's getting close to spring planting for farmers, but it's not here just yet. Instead, the machinery you see farmers using out in the field now is helping them finish prepping their ground to plant.

"The weather has been really really nice, actually probably too nice. We need some rain,"said Andy Bakken, a farmer near Albert Lea.

Unusually warm temperatures are helping farmers kick it into high gear, a bit earlier this year than usual. Yet a lack of rain and minimal snow this winter is causing fear about drought.

"I'm actually a little concerned working the ground like we have and putting some anhydrous on might be a mistake, as you can see it's super dry and dusty,"explained Bakken.

Bakken is putting Anhydrous Ammonia, a fertilizer, on his fields. It helps to beef up the soil, producing a better crop. For the time being he is waiting to plant his corn after April 11 and his beans after the 21st, to make sure his crop is fully covered by insurance.

"If you plant before that you're not covered on the re-plant clause, so if your corn doesn't come up and you need to replant, you wouldn't have coverage there, it would be out of your own pocket," stated Bakken.

On average farmers will spend nearly $115-dollars per acre, just on seed, so re-plant coverage is very important.

The earlier farmers get their crop in the ground, the longer growing season to mature, and hopefully, higher yields during harvest. For farmers, it means the potential of more money in the bank.  

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