Recent rains bring optimism to Minnesota farmers

As a corn farmer, Rob Tate is used to dealing with the elements, but this growing season has been more difficult than most.

"Yeah, it's been a challenging season. Every season has its challenges but I think this year has been even more so extreme," said Tate.

Tate says the 500 acres he farms near Cannon Falls have only received about half the rain they normally get by this time of year.

He says if it weren't for the rain he's seen over the last few days, he would have lost maybe 40% of his crop, instead of the 10-15% he now expects to lose this season.

"It was perfect timing. Having that rainfall come at the time that it did helps finish out the pollination and helps fill out those ears and form those kernels," said Tate.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association says 54% of the state's corn crops are rated "good" to "excellent" compared to 64% at this time last year, and 38% two years ago. 

But the impact the hot dry weather is having on corn farmers depends on where they are.

"Yes, we've been short of rainfall but we've been fortunate in getting just the right amount at the right time. That's been good to us. Others haven't fared as well. There are going to be some places that have some losses that don't have a crop," said Tate.

Tate says he does have crop insurance, so this season won't be a financial disaster, no matter how much rain falls between now and the harvest in the fall.

He still remains disappointed his efforts won't reap all the rewards he had originally hoped for. 

"I don't foresee this is going to be my best crop ever. I think it's going to be another crop. You move on. Hope for a better crop next year," said Tate.