Frost may threaten harvest, crop yields

Frost may threaten harvest, crop yields
Unfortunately for farmers, the first frost of the season is expected to come Thursday night and early Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. (Source: KEYC News 12)

COURTLAND, Minn. (KEYC) — Wet weather prevented a timely plant for farmers in the spring, and as we fast-forward to October, it’s still a hassle during harvest season as the moisture partners with cooler temperatures.

Rainfall for 2019 hasn’t reached record levels but continues to be above average, with total rainfall measuring 35.16 inches year-to-date.

“We are already wetter than last year, we are already wetter than the previous year, just not 2016. We want to look at the overall trends, we’re kind of in that transition, not quite to El Niño not quite to a La Niña, so right now we’re just kind of neutral in the Pacific Ocean,” said Meteorologist Tom Clements.

A La Niña brings cool and wet weather and an El Niño brings a warming effect.

Unfortunately for farmers, the first frost of the season is expected to come Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service says the frost is expected to be present in low-lying areas across the southern and western Minnesota.

“It’s going to kind of depend on the maturity of the crops. The crops that got planted earlier will probably be okay, some of the later planted crops that were put in the ground in June, there’s going to be a yield effect, a yield reduction on those crops,” said Jason Schroeder, farmer and farm business management instructor at South Central College.

“Ultimately the most optimistic view is you hope prices go up and yields are at least average so you just hope for better times ahead,” said Schroeder.

“Obviously, like I mentioned before, cash flows are tight on some operations, you just like to have a less stressful fall where you get out there, get your harvesting done and create a little optimism going forward in agriculture," said Schroeder.

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