Farmers across the Midwest are taking advantage of a lull in cold, rainy weather to plant their spring crops, particularly the long delayed corn crop. While the amount of crops planted is down from previous averages (Iowa, for example, has planted a little over 60% of its corn crop versus over 90% at the same time last year), the rapid planting represents a major effort to protect American food supplies.
The crop delay has been caused by unusually wet spring weather. Heavy rains over the past several months have saturated soils, forcing many farmers to delay planting spring crops. The moistness of the soil would prevent germination, making it impossible to grow plants in the soil. This weather has even caused massive floods which have washed away acres of crops and valuable farmland.
The break in the weather has allowed farmers to plant their spring crops, taking advantage of the rest of the May growing season. Many farmers have benefited from modern farm technology. Modern planters can prepare 500 acres a day and modern satellite technology allows farmers to plant crops at night. All in all, technological advancement has exploded the pace of modern farm productions. However, old-fashioned elbow grease is still at the heart of agricultural production, with some Iowa farmers putting in 20 hour days.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer