Planting conditions much improved in Minnesota

Published On: May 21 2013 08:26:52 AM CDT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A miserable start to spring planting for Minnesota farmers has greatly improved with a stretch of better weather.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers have planted more than half of the 9 million acres of corn expected in Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension corn specialist Jeff Coulter says warm weather followed by rain during planting last week will be good for germination.

Only a few weeks ago farmers were worried about the delayed spring combined with a fall drought. But conditions lately are much more favorable. Only 11 percent of the state's topsoil is too dry.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says experts are predicting a record year for Minnesota's $9 billion corn crop.