Hot September impacting local farms for harvesting season

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According to the National Weather Service, this past September was the third hottest September we have ever had based on average temperature. It’s also the hottest September we have had in over 90 years.

This heat combined with the ongoing drought conditions causes moisture to evaporate off crops faster. Brian Herbst, who has been farming for 44 years, is one of many farmers who wishes it cooled off already. “If it was 60 degrees today, for example, they wouldn’t have dried up that quick.”

During mornings when it’s cooler, humidity is typically higher with air temperatures and dew points are closer to each other. This allows for crops to gain a little moisture in a summer that severely lacked rainfall.

According to Brian Herbst, who owns his own farm in Kasson, you want moisture to be at about 13% on soybean crops. With the hot temperatures we have experienced the past few days, that percentage is not where it needs to be. “Right now, the moisture is back to 10.7 (percent) moisture. That is dry. For a while, I harvested 13% beans which is great.”

Recent rainfall has helped with local farms, but it is too little, too late for 2023. “We had about 4 inches, but I had 3.84 inches over a 4-month period.”

That rainfall will be more helpful for next year as the soil soaks it up. It then stays trapped in the soil through winter. With cooler weather on the way, having more moisture to work with should get at least somewhat easier.