More Rain Delays Harvest

October 11, 2018 09:27 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Weather-related delays aren’t unusual at harvest time.

So, farmers are taking the latest round of heavy rain in stride, and panic hasn’t set in… at least, not yet.


"We haven't turned a wheel,” Aaron Wagner said. “It's going to be a little while it's too wet."

"We actually haven't even been able to start yet" Ben Stiernagle added.

"We'd like to be in the field next week if everything dries up" Anthony Rasmusson added.

It's the kind of weather that can throw a wrench into the harvest. But the big concern now is what comes next.

"We got everything ready and then the rain started coming,” said Ben Stiernagle, who’s grown up working on a farm and is now a student in the ag program at Riverland Community College in Austin.

"I mean it's been running off for days now and not soaking in" farmer and Riverland student Aaron Wagner added.

Entering this week, the percentage of corn harvested for grain was running ahead of the 5-year average... but the soybean harvest was behind. More rain has stalled the harvest over much of Minnesota, and it's not just the soil that's gotten wet.

"Corn's got a lot of moisture in it so you're going to have to spend a lot of money on the propane to dry it down," student and farmer Anthony Rasmusson said.

“I don't think you have to worry yet,” Ben Stiernagle said. “But if it keeps up it's going to be hard to get anything done."

"So right now it's very important that we string together a week, two or three weeks where we have very warm weather and dry weather," said Riverland ag instructor Nick Schiltz, who’s also a farmer.

"If we've got the heat and the wind and low humidity, it probably wouldn't take too long, probably three, four days before guys could get in the lighter ground,” Aaron Wagner said. “If you've got real low ground, it might be a while."

"If the weather stays good once we get started we go hard for a while, like late nights and try to get a lot done as quick as we can," Anthony Rasmusson told us.

And is there a point when farmers DO panic at the thought of not getting the crop harvested?

“When it snows," Nick Schiltz said.


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