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Corn is still king (by a little)

By Staff | May 21, 2008

With about 95 percent of corn acres planted in Emmet County, it appears that about 55 percent of acres overall are going toward corn with the remainder in soybeans, according to Emmet County Farm Service Agency Director Larry Niles.

The corn acres represent a slight shift toward soybeans, a nationwide trend due to ramped up demand following a strike in Brazil.

“The conditions have improved the last week or 10 days” for planting, Niles said. “It’s as good as we could expect considering the conditions we’re in.”

Those conditions include soil temperatures still somewhat cool for germination. However, the corn that’s up seems to be doing well, Niles said.

Niles said 60-65 percent of soybeans are planted in the Ringsted area with the rest of the county at around 25-30 percent and good weather forecast until Sunday. Niles observed there are “a few more bean acres than corn acres.”

Most producers would like a quarter to a half-inch of rain to improve subsoil moisture, Niles said. He said there are minimal moist areas in low-lying areas.

Overall, northwest Iowa appears to be in as good of shape as anywhere, Niles said. He encourages farmers to stop in his office and certify areas for crop insurance before the deadline at the end of June.

As for the new farm bill, Niles doesn’t anticipate signups until September.

Locally, Niles believes the Green Plains Ethanol plant will provide a steady market for growers in a 20-mile radius.

For soybeans, Niles said the top remains uncertain.

“We’re just going to have to see where the price is and where Brazil is,” he said.