Watch CBS News

Following Wintry Spring Weather, Farmers Rushing To Plant Crops

VERMILLION, Minn. (WCCO) -- Farmers are feeling a little behind with the late start to spring here in Minnesota.

Muddy fields and frost in the ground have delayed the planting of spring crops.

The situation has left farmers waiting and watching for the right time to drop their seeds in the soil.

Brian Axdahl, the co-owner of Axdahl's Farms in Stillwater, has been waiting for weeks to get behind the wheel of his tractor to start planting sweet corn, field corn and green beans.

"We are trying to catch up," he said. "Last year, we planted about three weeks earlier. We planted our first sweet corn on April 7."

Now that it's sunny and warm, Axdahl is finally able to disc the soil and plant the seeds, but he's still thinking about our historic mid-April blizzard.

The storm dropped at least a foot and a half of snow across much of the state.

"The ground had already started to thaw, so it is what it is," he said. "We knew it would melt fast, but it set us back."

He says the soil temperature is still not ideal, but he has a plan.

"When I'm planting, I'll plant shallow and rely on the sun to warm up the soil, so it gets the seed to germinate," he said. "Those first three days are super important."

In Vermillion, off Highway 52, you can drive for miles without seeing any activity on signs of crops being planted.

Axdahl, who sells produce to wholesalers and grocery stores, says he still believes the growing season can turn out well.

"A three week delay in planting sweet corn does not translate to three weeks later," he said. "We'll still be [ready] the last part of July, first part of August."

Farmers say moving forward this spring and summer, what they really need are above average temperatures and normal moisture.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.