USDA: Wet Weather Causes Lowest Corn Crop in Four Years

Farmers say they're hoping for favorable conditions during the summer

NORTH DAKOTA — A new report shows farmers across the country aren’t growing as much corn because of the wet weather this spring.

The USDA says our country’s corn crop is the lowest it’s been in four years.

“This spring has just been a gut punch to the farmers,” Jean Henning, executive director of the North Dakota Corn Council, said.

Randy Melvin, a farmer in Buffalo and president of the North Dakota Growers Association, says 4 million acres of corn were estimated to be planted in the state this year.

However, just over 3 million are growing across North Dakota.

“With the cool wet spring and April and May that we had, we had a hard time getting the crop on the ground in many areas, and the soil wasn’t conducive to planting,” Melvin said.

“This spring has just been another blow to an already depressed farm economy. The farmers I’ve talked to are just hanging in,” Henning said.

Now it’s up to Mother Nature to make up the difference.

Henning says the fields need to see some good rain, good heat, but not too much of either.

“If these crops can catch up and we don’t have risk of early frost, I still think we have an opportunity for a decent yield potential for corn and soybeans in the state, but it’s really going to depend on what the summer weather holds for us,” Melvin said.

While nature plays a big role, the political landscape also has an effect. The USDA report says the trade war has dropped corn exports by 100 million bushels.

“With the trade issue it’s created a decreased price,” Melvin said.

The North Dakota Corn Council says that want to see the USMCA passed, because the majority of corn goes to Canada and Mexico.

Overall, the organization saw less acreage coming, but it can also mean more money.

“We would like to see not quite a severe drop in acres, but we also want a higher price. It works hand in hand,” Henning said.

The USDA will release another report in a couple of weeks showing exactly how many acres farmers have planted.

Categories: Agriculture, Local News, North Dakota News