Farmers hoping for more heat

Published 10:17 am Friday, August 9, 2013

As if she were a sleeping guarddog, farmers hope nothing upsets Mother Nature’s delicate, current state. They need as much time as they can squeeze out of summer and fall before harvest.

“The corn after it tasseled, looked OK,” said Adam Franzen of Lyle, “but we still need a really long, warm fall for it to mature.”

After continuously delayed planting days and a lack of heat in the past weeks, corn and soybean harvests will be teetering on the edge of OK to poor, depending on the next several weeks’ weather. With crops lagging far behind last year’s and fall fast approaching, most farmers hope the first frost holds off, more than anything.

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“Tell me when the frost is going to hit, and I’ll tell you how it’s going to do,” said Brian Hanson in Grand Meadow.

“We need to see the First of October without a frost,” he added. “A little bit longer than that would be nice.”

Even though July was a nearly average month by southeastern Minnesota’s weather standards, according to the National Weather Service, average temperatures didn’t help corn and beans catch up like they had hoped. Temperatures averaged at 71.1 through this July, just slightly more than the historical average of 70.7. However, that’s a far cry from last year’s 76.9, which was coupled with a record-early planting season and light-weathered fall.

According to NWS meteorologist Dan Jones in La Crosse, Wis., the next several weeks in southeastern Minnesota could remain slightly below average temperatures. However, Jones said there are no indications of major turns for the worse in the next weeks. According to the NWS’ forecast, there is a chance of rain Thursday night, and highs could remain in the mid to upper 70s throughout the next week, with lows in the mid to upper 50s.