Drought leads to growing season struggles
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - “We should be closer to 22 inches by now and we’re closer to 12, so we’re 10 inches behind,” said Greenseam Director, Sam Ziegler.
The growing season is coming to an end, and for the third year in a row, it wasn’t friendly to local farmers.
Thursday’s drought monitor shows a continuation of drought conditions, with no areas of the state escaping drought, and several areas experiencing Exceptional Drought conditions.
The University of Minnesota’s Southern Research and Outreach Center reports a 10 inch loss in precipitation in the local area when compared to the thirty year average, alongside an above average trend in growing degree units, meaning the summer has been hot and dry.
“We went in for a good planting season, we got those nine days of rain, which lead into population issues with our corn, and then since then the water has pretty much shut off, and so there’s a pretty big concern this crop season of what kind of yields we’ll actually get,” said Ziegler.
Most crops are nearing the end of their growing cycle, meaning that farmers are looking into harvest season and beyond.
Farmers say that continued dry weather would make harvest season smooth, but that the soil also needs a moisture recharge before the 2024 season begins.
“We want good harvest conditions, which typically result in less mud, mud is an expense. And so that’s what we’re hoping for but at the same time we know we need to start recharging the soil so that we have a crop opportunity for next year, and there’s no recharge happening right now,” said Ziegler.
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