Farmers across the Midwest are struggling to string together a handful of dry days to catch up on corn and soybean planting.
Rain has written a tale of misery for farmers for months. Soybean prices surged to a six-week high Tuesday after U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that planting for the crop, along with corn, was the slowest in records going back to the 1980s.
Just 39% of the American soy crop was planted as of June 2, the lowest on record for this time of year, the USDA data show.
Corn plantings are also holding at an all-time slow pace. Last year, farmers had largely finished sowing the two crops in early June.
Across the corn belt, there will be only sporadic days of dry weather in next two weeks to help farmers catch up, said Dan Hicks, meteorologist at Freese-Notis Weather in Des Moines. Fields east of the Mississippi River are hardest hit.
“For parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, it is possible that they may never get all the corn planted,’’ he said.
Along the Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri Rivers and their tributaries, 121 locations are registering moderate to major flooding.
Traffic on the Mississippi has halted at several points along the waterway, delaying shipments of grain, chemicals and energy products.