Area farmers begin planting season

Those who’ve lived here a while know those cylindrical objects they’re seeing aren’t midget submarines or spaceships from a lowbudget movie.
We’re referring, of course, to the fertilizer tanks farmers haul behind pickups this time of year to prepare their fields for planting. And, according to predications, those who are aggravated by the slow-moving trailers could be in for a long year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report issued last week reported that higher prices and increased demand for corn means that area growers could well be setting the table for a near-record year. “Today’s report reaffirms that corn growers make their planting decisions based on the market,” said Gary Marshall, chief executive officer with the Missouri Corn Growers Association and Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. “If the weather cooperates, Missouri could be looking at 300,000 additional corn acres over last year’s crop.” The USDA report indicates that Missouri farmers are expected to plant 3.3 million acres in 2011, the highest planted acreage since 2007 and the state’s second largest intended corn crop since 1971. Nationwide, corn growers are expected to plant 92.2 million acres, an increase of 5 percent from last year and possibly the most since 1944. In 2010, U.S. farmers brought in the third-largest corn crop in history at 12.4 billion bushels. According to the USDA, Missouri corn growers harvested 3 million acres last year, producing 369 million bushels of corn with a base value of more than $2 billion to the state’s economy.

PHOTO: Farmers in the county were busy last week preparing their fields for spring planting. Barring a turn in the weather, many growers will have begun the process tof seeding for corn this week. The farmer pictured was spraying fertilizer Friday just south of Union Road along Missouri 210. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Full story is in Monday, April 4, 2011 edition of the Richmond News.

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