Farmers continue to deal with exceptionally dry conditions

September 18, 2023

MINNESOTA-Despite some recent rainfall, it hasn't been enough, meaning that farmers in the southeastern part of the state still have to deal with the drought conditions. I spoke with Tom Hoverstad, a scientist from the Southern Research and Outreach Center over in Waseca, about this topic. He said that most corn and soybean crops in southeastern Minnesota are close to maturity. That means that any rain those crops get between now and harvest season won't help at all. He said that corn and soybean farmers would like to get some rain after their harvests, though. That's because farmers hope the moisture will freeze in the ground once it gets colder. Once it warms up again in the spring, growers will hopefully be able to use that thawed moisture for planting.

“Well, I think the mood across farmers this year is…many are fortunate to get what they had. I think there’s some areas that have been really bad, focused maybe in Fillmore and Mower County. I think people that are not in that exceptionally dry area are feeling quite lucky," Hoverstad said.

He said that farmers in our area could use a couple of inches of rain in the fall to make it easier on their tillage equipment. He also said that the lack of rain means farmers in our area likely won't have to deal with as much mud when they harvest their crops this season. Farmers' equipment can get stuck in mud, and dryer soils can better handle the weight of farming equipment.