How current weather is impacting planting season
(ABC 6 News) – Incoming rain showers will help with planting overall, but that doesn’t mean all farmers are going to be getting back on track in terms of their planting schedules.
A lack of snowfall this past season means less frost in the soil which allows the soil to warm up faster. This means farmers are able to plant earlier. However, the chilly temperatures we’ve seen recently are having an effect.
Paul Schmidt, the owner of Schmidt Farms in Preston, MN, explains why the temperatures are affecting farming.
"Soil temperature isn’t high enough there yet. We’re looking at about 50 (degrees). 4-6 inches was at 34-36°F still."
The high winds we’ve seen over the last few weeks are also playing a part in pushing back planting.
Schmidt also stated why the high winds are a problem. "You can get an inch of rain one day and then two days with a 20-30 mile an hour wind, it’s gone just through evaporation.”
Rain showers are in the forecast for the next week. This should help preserve some of the ground moisture for the growing season.
Schmidt stated that the sub-soil is dependent on getting moisture. "We’ve got nice clay sub-soil. That clay sub-soil is where we hold moisture for the dry periods of Summer." That sub-soil helps crops through the warmer months, like July and August… and in the fall season when crops are ready to harvest. Paul Schmidt also says it’s important to get a good balance between dry topsoil to prevent freezing or rot and a moisture-rich sub-soil to keep the crop alive and allow it to grow.
With some of the temperatures we have been experiencing, it is likely going to take until the end of April or even the beginning of May for some farmers to plant their crops, which could result in a slight loss of yield for this growing season.