A surplus of snowfall has local farmers looking ahead at how that snow could affect the year’s farming cycle

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:57 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Not even halfway through winter, southern Minnesota has already received more than its fair share of snow.

Snowfall has already surpassed the annual average, and farmers are looking ahead at how the large amount of snow may affect the year’s farming cycle. The chief concern is the multi-year drought facing the area, and farmers are hoping that a future surplus of melting snow can help solve that problem.

“We went through last fall, the end of summer and through most of fall very dry. Our soil conditions are dry, and just seeing more moisture come through on these systems that come through on these systems that come across is favorable, explained Kent Thiesse.

While giving the soil some needed help, the melting snow won’t fully solve the problem of the drought, as an increase in yearlong precipitation will be needed to make the moisture last. There is a chance that the snow could cause some flooding, which would delay spring planting, but experts say that we haven’t gotten quite enough snow for that to be a primary concern.

Some experts are concerned, however, that the added snow could delay the thawing of the soil, which would put a delay on spring planting.

“That’s going to take a long time to melt, and wherever there’s snow cover there’s not heat, and we need that ground to warm up, you know, to 50 degrees to have good germination for our seeds,” said Thiesse.