This month’s rains approach 10”
Rain moved into the region again late Monday and early Tuesday, adding to soggy soil conditions left by soaking rains last week.
Precipitation last week, Sept. 17-21, totaled 5.46” in Tracy. Most of the rain came on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 19-20, when 1.45” and 2.83” respectively was recorded. The soaking rains brought September Tracy moisture totals to 9.41” through 8 a.m. Tuesday. Over the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4, nearly 3.9” of precipitation fell over Tracy.
The wet weather has left soils saturated and delayed the soybean harvest, with virtually no fieldwork getting done since Sept. 16.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s state crop report on Monday estimated that 15% of Minnesota’s soybean crop had been harvested, compared with 7% the previous week. That’s still ahead of the five-year average of 9% for this date. The Minnesota soybean crop is rated at 50% “good” and 23% “excellent.”
The state’s corn crop is rated at 52% “good” and 26% “excellent,” with 96% of the corn having reached the dent stage of maturity.
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Saturday, Sept. 22, marked the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. The autumnal equinox for the region arrived at 8:54 p.m. From now until late December, daylight will get progressively less each day.
Crops ready, fields not so much
By Per Peterson
U of M Extension educator Liz Stahl said most southern Minnesota farmers are in desperate need of a good stretch of dry weather so they can get into the fields to either resume or begin harvesting their crops.
Last week’s four-day run of wet weather — the Tracy area received more than 5 inches between Monday and Thursday — kept combines out of the fields in the area all week. The rain finally stopped late Thursday, but cool temps and overcast skies followed Friday before the sun finally came out Saturday. And the rain resumed again this Tuesday morning.
“If we get some good drying conditions, that’s going to help,” Stahl said. “The crops are ready to go. If worse comes to worse and the soggy weather continues, once the ground freezes, then we can hit the fields. Hopefully we’re not faced with that and the snow doesn’t fly for a long time.”
Stahl said beans are ready to be harvested, and corn is close as well. She said despite a good growing season, yields will certainly be affected by all the rain.
“All those drowned out spots — that’s going to pull down yields on average throughout the region,” she said. “It all depends on how many of those areas there are.”
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.