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AGRIBUSINESS: Hard Weather, Late Planting

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Some farmers are already done planting this spring; but for others the weather hasn't been too kind.

Last Thursday was cold and windy near the town of Montezuma in Powesheik County. Farmer Kevin Rempp offloaded some of last year's soybeans, but didn't have a chance to plant beans until Monday. But even if the sun had come out last Thursday, Rempp says that would not, alone, have been a signal to start planting.

"Just because you've got a nice sunny day, I mean, we had an inch and quarter of rain here over the last weekend and we just haven't had any drying days the last two or three days."

Rempp says that means it's taken twice as long to get back into the field as normal; on Thursday he estimated soybean planting progress in the nearby area between 30 and 50 percent. Monday's Crop Progress Report put the state at 84 percent corn planting completed and 40 percent soybean planting completed.

Rempp's says getting corn in was easy, "Once we got into the field, we made great progress I mean I think we planted everything in five days. We had a great week last week but like they were about two weeks late getting in. The corn we did plant last week some of it was emerging out of the ground in seven or eight days. So, I mean, it's looking good."

Rempp says a narrow planting window can, in a sense, be widened, thanks to modern farm technology like GPS and auto-steer.

"You can run well into the night I mean, you're tired but you may not be as totally fatigued. I know some people that end up planting almost around the clock. We did it but we put in a lot of long hours."

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