May rainfall was less than Albert Lea average

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Albert Lea had a below-average amount of rainfall during the month of May.

The 30-year average for May is 4.07 inches of rain. This May, 2.74 inches of rain fell at Southwest Middle School and 3.34 fell southeast of Albert Lea at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

And from June 6 to 8, 3.19 inches of rain fell in Albert Lea — 1.74 of that on June 8 alone.

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Paul Hansen, who farms 900 acres east of Myrtle, said the low rainfall totals actually turned out to be beneficial for him. He said he was able to plant early and the soil was moist farther down, even though the top of the soil turned dry by the end of May.

“We had almost ideal seedbed conditions this May during planting,” Hansen said.

The rain in early June was also ideal for Hansen, as he said he estimated about 2 inches of rain fell at his farm over the weekend. But, he said some farms north of him received between 5 and 6 inches of rain, which was too much. There is currently flooding in some fields.

“Yeah, we’ve been a little drier than normal, but we’re not at what I would say is critical the way it’s been coming. We’ve been getting timely, nice little rains so far,” Hansen said.

While the rainfall amounts have been positive, Hansen said the cool temperatures are not helping the crops.

“We’re at the point where we need it to warm up. We need heat units now,” Hansen said.

“Our crop rate in our area looks good, but the growth has been a little slow just because we’ve been cool.”

Hansen said he’d like to see temperatures in the mid-70s to help the crops grow.

“We’ve been on the cool side. The crop is showing that. Not really stress, but it’s just not growing as fast,” Hansen said.

Overall, Hansen said the spring was good, but warmer temperatures would help the crops flourish.