Limited rainfall leaves farmers out to dry

Southern Minnesota farmers have been feeling the brunt of the severe drought hardships
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:51 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Southern Minnesota has been in a historic, severe drought for quite some time now.

“We are still looking at the driest June recorded in 110 years,” Center for Rural Policy and Development CEO and President Julie Tesch said.

Our recent rainfall has farmers literally jumping for joy.

“As my wife could tell you, I was running around singing and dancing. I think the other day when the first rain came through,” Guldan Family Farm owner Tim Guldan said.

“The rain that we received this weekend, we are calling it a million-dollar rain for farmers,” Tesch said.

More is needed, only around two to three inches of rain reached the surrounding area and farmers know that it isn’t enough.

“Right now agronomists are thinking even with this rain that it could be a fifteen to twenty percent crop loss. That’s huge and not just for farmers, but obviously, the farmers are the ones with the crop. They provide the economic engine in so much of South Central Minnesota, so if farmers have a poor yield and a poor crop. It’s just that effect going out into the rest of the rural communities,” Tesch explained.

Small farms are even feeling the brunt of the drought, especially Guldan Family Farms even with irrigation.

“I have a 25-acre operation, I can do about a half-acre in eight hours. Now if you do the math on that, it doesn’t do enough to keep everything growing well. With that system, I can keep everything happy for about a week before it has to be dumped on again,” Guldan said.

With June typically being the wettest month in the summer, if July and August go the same route, farmers could be in even more trouble.

“It is a saving rain, but we still have a long ways to go,” Tesch said.

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