PALMYRA, Mo. — A wet spring and high water have limited planting progress in Northeast Missouri. On May 7 Brent Hoerr, who farms in Marion County near Palmyra, said he has only been able to plant about 50 acres of corn.
“It’s mostly just been wet enough to keep us out of the field,” he said.
The nearby Mississippi River hit its third-highest stage ever and was rising on the levees, Hoerr said, even topping them in a few spots farther from him. He was working in his garden in the evening, joking that it was the driest ground he had to work.
“The bottom, I’m looking over it now, there hasn’t been anything planted,” he said.
Hoerr said seep water has been a problem in the bottom ground, keeping it too wet to work. He tried to work on some ruts, but he made new ruts trying to get over the fields.
The cooler, wet conditions have also hurt stands in the area.
“What I got planted is coming up slow,” Hoerr said.
The garden was a good diversion until he was able to get in the fields.
“The only crop I’ve got that looks good is my potatoes,” he said.
Hoerr said some farmers in his area have been talking about needing to switch some acres from corn to soybeans, but it’s been too wet for anyone to plant either crop.
“I think everybody will plant corn at least up to the end of May,” he said. “You want to stay with your plan, but sometimes you have to change plans.”
It’s also been frustrating for farmers to see crop prices sliding down even as they can’t get into fields. But Hoerr is hopeful about the forecast, and he knows they could make quick progress when things dry up.
“We have the ability to plant things pretty fast if things would straighten out,” he said. “But it’s been a challenging spring.”
For the statewide average, there were only 0.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 5, according to the USDA weekly crop report.