Drought causes quick harvest

Harvest season is coming to an end. and ag experts are saying that the painful year-long drought may have ended up helping farmers in at least one way.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -October is coming to an end, and the window for farmers to finish up their harvest is quickly closing.

Harvest reports released Monday point to farmers across the Midwest being significantly ahead of schedule, and farm experts believe that the year-long drought that has plagued the country may be a driving reason for a quick harvest.

“Today’s crop progress for corn is at 80 percent harvested, and average that’s about 20 percent above the five-year average. SO we’re on a good pace this year, we’ve had no rain delays,” said Sam Ziegler of Greenseam in Mankato.

The efficient harvest means an overall boon for crop yields, which experts say will go a long way in boosting the local economy, but that boost doesn’t come without concerns.

“There’s a good crop there’s a good price. And so that’s going to mean a ripple effect for the economy in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa that is going to keep this economy ticking very well because it’s such a big part of it. And so that’s going to help. The other concern though of this dryness for the farmers and for this region is ‘how do we move our crop that we have,” Ziegler said.

Experts believe that low river levels may negatively affect the ability to move crops and shipments via river lines.

And the benefits of the drought will likely soon end, as the current soil moisture level raises concerns for the upcoming spring planting season.

“Part of the crop progress report shows that over 50 percent is short to very short of subsoil moisture, which is very concerning for our next year’s crop,” Ziegler said.