Pfarr planter

Brian Pfarr prepares to plant into standing covers during a previous planting season on his farm near Lamberton, Minn.

Planting work wrapped up for Crop Watcher Brian Pfarr about a week ahead of a normal year and two and a half weeks ahead of last year. He started corn planting at his Lamberton, Minnesota farm around April 26 and finished with soybeans May 11.

Having a longer growing season leaves him with high hopes for good maturity and yields on the corn.

“Now we just need the heat,” he said.

Pfarr said all of the corn is in around Redwood County, and about 95% of the beans had been planted.

Areas west and north of the Pfarr farm had some issues with frost in early May. Pfarr dodged the coldest temperatures, recording a low of 34 degrees.

The area received 2 inches of rain over two days the weekend of May 16. Pfarr said it was almost a perfect rain, and it was needed.

“We were actually kind of dry,” he said. “That really helped us seal up seedbeds, especially on soybeans that were no till.”

Pfarr has been busy picking rock and moving cattle. Calving started the end of April, and 10 out of 48 were left to calve as of May 18. He hoped to be done in a week. Already, 20 head moved to grass.

“Pastures are a little slow. They need heat too,” Pfarr said.

In the coming weeks, he will be keeping an eye on how his crops are emerging, especially those coming up through residue. He also plans to work on some fields that were planted to rye, making sure the cover crop is terminated in a timely fashion.

The Memorial Day weekend won’t look the same in Lamberton. Pfarr is a member of the Sons of the American Legion and usually helps host a Memorial Day service. It’s been canceled this year. Fishing might be on the agenda instead.

Some will be relieved the school year is wrapping up, as Pfarr said it was challenging for families trying to work off the farm, do spring planting work and keep kids on task with school work. Getting haircuts has been another challenge, he joked.

Brian Pfarr farms in Redwood County, Minn. He submitted his report May 18.