Growing conditions for corn  and soybeans  are quite variable across Minnesota. In south-central Minnesota most of the corn and soybeans that were planted by May 20 have now emerged, with some of the early planted corn reaching 8-10 in. tall. There have been some reports of crop emergence problems in portions of fields with corn and soybeans that were planted in mid-May, due to very cool, wet soil conditions following planting. Many farmers in southern Minnesota have completed soybean planting within the past week or so; however, there are numerous areas of central and northern Minnesota that have a considerable amount of crop acreage remaining to be planted.
As a whole, most of the corn and soybean crop across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa is probably one to two weeks behind normal. This is a combination of later-than-normal planting dates, and much cooler-than-normal weather during most of May. However, warmer-than-normal temperatures in the past 10 days have helped the earlier-planted corn and soybeans develop quite rapidly. At the University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Center  at Waseca, the accumulated growing degree units (GDUs) from May 1 to June 3 was 349, which is about 8% below the average GDU accumulation of 378 on June 3, and about 20% lower than the GDU accumulation in early June 2010. Precipitation at Waseca totaled 4.67 in. during May, compared to a normal of 3.96 in., and is now about 2 in. above normal since April 1. Many locations in central Minnesota have received more than double the normal precipitation amount since April 1.
June is Dairy Month
For decades in Minnesota, June has been known as Dairy Month. Following are some interesting facts and figures about the Dairy industry:
- The June Dairy Month promotion of dairy products has been in existence since 1939.
- There are approximately 53,000 dairy farms in the U.S., with dairy farms in all 50 states.
- There are over 4,500 dairy farms in Minnesota.
- 98% of U.S. dairy farms are family-owned farm businesses.
- The average dairy cow produces approximately 7.5 gal. of milk/day, or about 2,300 gal. of milk/year.
- Minnesota dairy farms produce over 1 billion gallons of milk annually.
- The dairy industry is the second-largest agricultural business in Minnesota, generating approximately $1.66 billion/year, with a economic impact to the state of about $11.5 billion, or about $25,000/dairy cow in Minnesota.
- The Minnesota dairy industry supports approximately 40,000 jobs in the state.
- It typically takes two days for milk to reach grocery shelves from the time it leaves the farm.
- 70% of the calcium needs of the U.S. population are supplied by milk and dairy products.
- A dairy farmer receives about $1.70/gal. from the amount paid for milk by consumers at the grocery store (approximately $4/gal.).
- The U.S. dairy industry contributes less than 2% of the total greenhouse gasses into the environment, and has reduced it’s carbon footprint by 60% in past six decades.
- A strong dairy industry helps improve demand and prices for crop producers raising corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Bottom line: A strong, vibrant, and profitable dairy industry is very important toward building ahealthy economic future for Minnesota and the nation.
Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at [email protected]