Farm Horizons, November 2007
Erratic weather affects crops
By Roz Kohls
The goofy weather this summer ruined, or at least made for less-than-desirable crops for the Farm Horizons region. If it wasn’t drought, it was hail, flattening winds, or rain that came at the wrong time, when farmers wanted to harvest.
Bob Berg of Howard Lake, for example, attempted to combine his corn Sept. 24, but it was still too wet. If only he had one more inch of rain in July, he said, he could have salvaged more of the crop. It dried out, though. Then, the rains came at the end of the season, causing it to re-green a little, he said.
Rod Marquardt, who farms near Waverly, said his crops had a little of everything, hail, drought, too much rain, and too much wind. Early in the summer, he had mushy, softball-sized hail; and in the fall, he had golf ball-sized hail, he said.
“Yields are definitely down,” but vary on his own property, he added.
Crops were stressed in eastern McLeod County, too, according to the Sept. 10 “The Land” magazine. The heat stunted the third hay crop of the summer. Usually farmers chop the fourth cutting. This year the fourth crop got more rain than earlier ones, and greened up. Some farmers were able to bale the fourth crop before too much rain fell in the fall.
McLeod County farmers won’t be getting the yields they wanted, but they will be getting something, compared to the flooded farms in southeastern Minnesota, according to Tom Royer of The Land.
Farmers had an ideal spring, according to the National Weather Service, so they had high expectations in June. However, the rains stopped in July.
When the rains returned in August, it helped soybeans, but only some of the corn. Also, yields for crops in one area were down, but 15 miles away, yields were normal, according to Travis Magoon of the Minnesota Elevator in Darwin.
As of Oct. 1, statewide corn production was forecasted at 1.22 billion bushels, up 11 percent from last year, however, according to the USDA Minnesota Field Office.
Soybean production for Minnesota is forecast at 258 million bushels, down 19 percent from last year’s record high. n