Twin cities media is finally picking up on the story of too much rain in farm country, and its implications for reduced crop production this year. More heavy rain this past weekend has many wondering when this spate of wetness will end. Reports of up to three inches around Belgrade and over six inches in the Willmar area left much farm land and even parking lots under water. And the forecast is calling for chances of rain every day throughout the rest of this week.
I visited with several farmers in New Munich last weekend and heard about their efforts at putting up hay. One told of chopping haylage nearly all night and getting stuck in wet field conditions several times. He reported having to unhook the wagon from the chopper and pull it out backward. One can imagine the ruts and deep holes left in the field under such conditions.
Time is also running out for those who still have fields left to plant, or those who would like to re-plant areas that have drowned out because of standing water. As we approach the end of June, yields of crops planted this late would probably be greatly reduced. Dairymen and others who raise livestock may still decide to keep planting if they are short of feed supplies for their animals.
Water levels are also rising on area lakes and rivers which could impact resort and campground business. Because the season is so short in Minnesota, owners would like to utilize every weekend and keep their facilities occupied.
The amount of rain received in some areas during the past three weeks has been staggering. Some of the hardest hit areas have received upwards of 10 to 12 inches or even more. The ground hasn’t had a chance to dry out between rain events, which has made field work extremely challenging. There’s an old farming axiom that says too much rain is better than too little; however, I think we’ve reached a point where nearly everyone is saying “enough is enough.”