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US senator seeks federal help for ND corn growers

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota corn farmers are having a tough time getting their crop in the ground because of a wet spring, and U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is asking the federal Agriculture Department to help them out.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that less than one-fifth of North Dakota's corn crop is in the ground. Normally at this time of year, more than half of the crop is seeded.

Heitkamp is calling on the Agriculture Department to delay the May 25th crop insurance planting deadline for corn in place for most North Dakota counties. After that date, farmers will see reduced crop insurance coverage because their crops will be deemed more susceptible to summer heat or fall frost.

The Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency didn't immediately comment on Heitkamp's request.