Rain Isn't A Good Thing For Some Minnesota Farmers
WASECA, MINN - Heavy rainfall in recent weeks is having an adverse effect on crops in certain areas,
Agriculture experts at the University of Minnesota say this year's rain isn't necessarily abnormal, but over-saturated fields are delaying the growth of corn and soybeans.
Recent flooding in Southern Minnesota is also drowning out crops near rivers with lower elevation.
Ponded waters in fields are the biggest threat to farmers' crop yield this season according to scientists at the U of M.
"Corn is ponded, crops underwater that can be a problem as far as, they cannot survive that underwater more than a day or two this time of year," said U of M scientist Tom Hoverstad. "That's more of an issue in soybeans than corn simply because corn grows taller than soybeans and takes a little more water to cover up corn."
U of M experts don't anticipate a reduced crop yield this year, but say that farmers are having trouble physically getting out in the fields due to the heavy precipitation this season.
"Weeds are still growing, the crops are still growing so we need some dry weather on the farm to really get those operations done and that's what has really been the problem more so in soybeans than corn" Hoverstad said.
One ongoing factor affecting crop growth is climate change; scientists say Minnesota's average precipitation amount has increased by about seven inches each year within the last 50 years and it is something farmers need to continually adjust for.
"We used to think of June as our rainiest month, now that's been superseded by August," Hoverstad said. "So we get a lot more rain in the summer than we used to see and that's been a pattern across the northern corn belt."
U of M experts say that crops were largely unaffected by the extended winter season this year and the quick temperature change helped crop recovery.
----KEYC News 12