Drought, Ag Update: Recent rain helps improve conditions

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:40 PM CDT
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MINNESOTA, (KEYC) - The rain in the last few weeks is a bright spot in the state’s drought forecast.

The latest figures show that just 65% of the state is still listed under severe drought conditions, a 23% reduction in just the last week.

Thursday’s update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that about 58% of the state is under extreme drought, also a drop from recent weeks.

Although as severe drought still persists, local Farm Management Analyst, Kent Thiesse gives an agricultural update.

“The rain probably came in a little late in some aspects as far as adding bushels but certainly it will maintain the crop that’s still growing,” said Theisse. “In the case of corn if it hadn’t black layered which means maturity that means it’s still is pulling up moisture and nutrients and it will help finish the crop off add some test weight to the corn, in the case of soybeans this will certainly help fill out the pods that were there. What we were seeing before the rain with some of the intense heat some of the pods were aborting and we were starting to lose some of our yield potential so that is certainly going to help from that aspect”

Thiesse says there were downsides to the recent rain in southwest Minnesota into northwest Iowa with strong winds and large hail causing damage.

In addition, Theisse says farmers will need to see more rain as fall approaches to replenish depleted soil moisture.

Meanwhile, the worst of the drought continues in northern Minnesota where wildfires continue to rage.

“When you look at long-time drought, your talking rivers, streams that type of thing and takes some longer-term adequate to above average rainfalls to rebuild that system again once it’s completely depleted it, so we certainly are on the right path with the weather patterns but going into next year we are definitely going to have to replenish that soil moisture,” said Theisse.

More information and updates on drought conditions can be found at Minnesota | U.S. Drought Monitor (unl.edu).

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