Dry fields a cause for concern for ‘23 planting season

Farmers like this one west of Tracy have returned to the fields to till their very dry soil. Photo / Per Peterson

With what has been considered a successful harvest all but complete, farmers are now dealing with the soil left over after a very dry summer.

“It’s very dry,” said Jodi DeJong-Hughes, U of M Extension educator who focuses on tillage. “Not only is it dry in the topsoil, it’s dry in the subsoil. Last year, we kind of ran out of topsoil moisture, and in the fall we got enough rains, and pretty good snow … and we had our wet spring, so it recharged everything.”

DeJong-Hughes said she has heard reports that the soil is very dry all the way down to 4 feet under the topsoil, and it’s been difficult to get a good soil sample.

“I haven’t seen this for a long time,” she said.

See more in this week’s paper!