Soggy Weather Still Hurting Corn Crop

Posted at: 06/25/2013 7:10 PM
Updated at: 06/25/2013 7:18 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s one of those sayings we've heard forever, corn needs to be “knee high by the 4th of July." It's kind of a moot point, most years Independence Day sees corn six or seven feet high. But this year, even “knee high” might be a stretch.

“Some of this corn crop has a very, very long ways to go," said crop consultant Lynn Lagerstedt at Farm-Tech in Adams, Minnesota.

And there will be an economic impact to the wet spring.

"The loss of crop revenue in this area has to go into the millions of dollars," Lagerstedt told us.

"This year it seems our number has come up," added Sandy Forstner at the Austin-area Chamber of Commerce.

To put the year-to-year change in perspective, much of Mower County’s corn crop was tasseling by July 4th of last year.

“I assure you there will be no tasseling this year from this corn crop," crop Lagerstedt said.

And the impact of a difficult growing season won't just be felt on the farm.

"Our economy remains rooted in the soil,” said Forstner. “There is a lot of agri-business based on serving farmers, whether it's selling them seed, fertilizer, storing grain, buying, selling, fixing equipment."

“Farmers are going to say hey, my revenue stream is reduced and so I've got to bite the bullet a little bit," Lagerstedt added.

But keep in mind that the corn belt is a big place.

"Right now they're projecting some record corn yields,” Lagerstedt explained. “Whether it will impact with higher commodity prices and food prices, maybe not."