Wet spring brings troubling start to corn planting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Farmers in the nation’s breadbasket who only recently were praying for an end to a withering drought are now pining for enough sunshine and heat to dry their muddy fields in time to plant their corn and other crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says only 12 percent of the nation’s cornfields have been planted. That’s about a quarter of the amount farmers had planted by this point in the season over the last five years.

In Iowa, which is the nation’s biggest corn producer, only 8 percent of the corn crop is in the ground. That’s down from 62 percent at this point last year.

Farmer John Reifsteck says if he has to wait much longer, he may have to plant less corn on his 1,800-acre central Illinois farm.

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