Minnesota farmers battling Mother Nature once again

Winter Storm Watch issued for northwest Minnesota

Mark Freie
October 09, 2019 - 5:37 am

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Days suitable for Minnesota's farmers to get out into the field are few and far between.

The latest Minnesota Crop Progress & Condition from the USDA showed that for the week ending on October 6, there were just 1.5 days where farmers could get into the field.

David Nicolai is an Educator in Crops for University of Minnesota Extension and says farmers are likely ready to move on from a tough year for crops.

"Certainly the farmers in southern Minnesota and southwestern Minnesota that had some prevent planting and really didn't plan in some of their field at all are looking forward to 2020 and putting this year behind them," Nicolai said.

The report shows corn dented or beyond was 94 percent, 17 days behind last year and 15 days behind the 5-year average. 39 percent of corn was mature, 20 days behind last year and 15 days behind normal.

"Soybeans are fairing a little bit better, as they're more sensitive to day length than to precipitation than temperature," Nicholai said. "They're still about 13 days behind from last year. Conditions were variable in the spring and that's certainly true this fall."

Despite the slow start, there is progress being made in the Red River Valley and parts of northwest Minnesota where sugar beets and soybeans harvest has begun. 

Dry weather will help ag producers across Minnesota, but that could be hard to find in the coming days. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for parts of northwest Minnesota from Thursday night into Saturday morning with various amounts of snow expected.

"Farmer will have to get to those fields of priority in terms of harvest and make those assessments," Nicolai said. "Hopefully some progress can be made before the weekend weather sinks in.

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