No surprises here. It has been rainy for several days across most of Minnesota, with lingering cold to the north, so farmers are not able to plant much yet.
The new USDA crop progress report issued this afternoon shows that only 4 percent of the corn crop has been planted so far this year, 2 percent of the spring wheat, 2 percent of the barley, 2 percent of the sugar beets, and 9 percent of the oats.
That's ahead of 2013, when almost nothing was in the ground on this date.
But it's well behind the five-year average in Minnesota, when 30 percent or more of all of those crops have been planted by the end of April.
Cool soil temperatures remain a concern in the north, and some livestock producers in northwestern Minnesota are reportedly worried about not having enough feed stocks for herds until grazing becomes available.
A report by Mike Hughlett in yesterday's paper indicated that cattle farmers have already been facing drought, recession and high feed costs for much of the past five years, and beef prices are at all-time highs.