Farmers in much of the Upper Midwest are facing what could be an unusually late planting season.That’s troubling. Planting late reduces the odds of a good harvest and increases the chances of a poor one.
But as area farmers know, planting late doesn’t rule out a good harvest or guarantee a poor one. What happens after the seed is in the ground ultimately determines the crop’s fate.
That’s a lesson I learned years ago when I was a North Dakota farm kid. Spring came late one year, and a spate of drizzly days delayed planting further. I remember sitting in a school classroom, watching raindrops splatter against the window, and wondering if we’d ever get our crop in. Eventually we did, though much later than we wanted.
I also remember that we enjoyed a favorable growing season and ended up harvesting a pretty nice crop.
Bottom line: Planting late isn’t good. But it’s not the end of the world, either.