It’s day nine, July 4th. We just crossed the border; we’re on highway 2 travelling east. And just to give you some quick facts about agriculture in Minnesota: Minnesota’s growing degree days vary from 100 days in the North to 150 in the South. Precipitation is 30 inches in the southeast to less than 20 inches northwest on an annual basis. Minnesota is ranked number 3 in soybean production, 4 in corn production, ranked 7th in wheat production. Average size of a farm is 322 acres. In the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, Minnesota reminds me of Nebraska – it’s looking good. We’ll keep you posted as we go along on our tour. There probably are some problem spots but we’ll check them out. Corn, in the very poor to poor was only 1% over the last 3 weeks. Good to excellent has increased 4 percentage points to 81% in the last three weeks. Soys very poor to poor is 1%, good to excellent up 3% to 77%. Wheat – this is spring wheat – we’re at 2% very poor to poor, and good to excellent at 84% up 11%. So this is a soybean field we’re in front of here. Overall the crops here thus far look pretty good.
We’re travelling east on highway 2, we just passed Fosston, Minnesota. We’re in front of a corn field. So far as we’ve travelled east, crops in Minnesota look quite good. This corn field here is just above knee high. As we’ve travelled further east, I’m starting to see some issues with moisture once again, particularly with the beans, not so much with the corn, and the wheat looks really good here in Minnesota.
We’re travelling south on highway 63. We’re near Zumbro Falls, Minnesota. And we’re standing in front of a corn field and as we’ve travelled from the north/northeast and then south, there’s a lot of corn in the north that was irrigated. It looked decent – lush and green. I’m not seeing any issues here in Minnesota. It’s about chest high, by July 4th and there’s some heat here today so the corn is looking good in Minnesota.
We’re travelling south. We’re on highway 63. We’re going toward Rochester, Minnesota. We’re standing in front of a wheat field. Looks like this field was just sprayed and there seems to be some weed pressure but overall through Minnesota, what we’ve seen thus far, I’m not seeing the standing water, the moisture issue that we’ve been accustomed to thus far on the tour.
We’re travelling west in Minnesota. We’re on highway 14 and we’re passed Walnut Grove, and there’s a stretch of about fifteen miles where if you see in the background here there’s a little tinge low-lying areas. There’s a lot of beans that are yellow probably due to too much moisture. It’s a nice sunny day today, we’re getting some heat – it’s 32 degrees Celsius, but there’s field after field after field – and it’s not so much the corn. Corn seems to be doing quite well. These are ankle high soybeans. They’re looking good, but there’s some problem areas in this neck of the woods. There’s big corn and soybean production in Minnesota. Probably not as many problem areas as we saw in the east, but nonetheless there are some areas here. The southern Nebraska was similar to this area although this was a little bit more than that southern Nebraska. Nonetheless, overall the crop looks green and lush, and corn’s looking a little bit better.
We’re travelling west on highway 14. We just passed Tyler, Minnesota and we’re in front of a nice looking wheat field here. Looks like a little bit of wind damage. This area seems to have had a little bit more moisture through the month of June. Some local farmers suggesting that right around that first week of June, we got as much as 8 inches of rain but overall nice looking head here and not too many issues as we travel further west into Minnesota.
We’re traveling west on highway 14, we’re almost to the far end – as far as we can go in Minnesota on the west side, and we passed Lake Benton. This is typical of Minnesota – it’s either waist to chest high and we did see corn that was much higher than this. This is probably two weeks – at least two weeks away from tasseling but if I was to compare this to – Minnesota looks like Nebraska to us although Nebraska was a little bit ahead of schedule, at least one to two weeks. And we had a little more issues with soybeans and some moisture, some yellowness in the beans here in the southern part of Minnesota. We travelled from Grand Forks, number 4 east, came down through 52. There’s a lot of potato that’s growing in the north, some irrigation up there as well. Most of the corn and bean production is in this very central to southern Minnesota. Overall, it looks good but again, I’m going to rank Minnesota as #2 out of the 12 states so far. Well, we’ve done nine so far, with a total of twelve, so ranked 2. Is it above average, average crop? Again, too many issues. I’m seeing too many issues with the beans although we did see some of the best beans in Minnesota. I’m going to think about an average crop here in Minnesota. It’s not quite what it was last year, and corn again, I’m going to suggest it’s an average crop. There is some corn that is probably above average, but not enough to make a huge difference, so it’s an overall average crop for Minnesota. Minnesota is one of the top 5 states that can be a make or break situation. I’m not sure Minnesota this year is going to help the national average, so there’s no record corn or bean production coming down the pipeline thus far.