Like the “big game” being delayed by rain, such is the area Harvest Season. The big machines whirled and chopped and then delivered the new grain to the bin — or elevator.
Then, with no outs in the top of the second inning, the rains came. And the Harvest has been on hold ever since. “There’s so much moisture in the ground already, it’s going to take awhile,” one farmer predicted.
After a full day of harvesting the crops last Thursday, the rains came that night, continued to add moisture on Saturday and Sunday night delivered another bucket of moisture to the already saturated land. While the corn crop can sustain most any hit by Mother Nature, the soybean crop is a bit more delicate.
By Tuesday morning, about an inch of rain had accumulated and by Wednesday morning there was at least two and a half inches accumulated.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Minnesota, 92 percent of corn is still in the field and 87 percent of soybeans have not been harvested.
In addition to the property and infrastructure damage caused by the extreme rainfall and flooding, there will likely be considerable crop loss, along with potential major delays in the 2016 corn and soybean harvest.
According to Kent Thiesse of the Corn and Soybean Digest, “The corn and soybean fields near any rivers, streams or creeks will likely be a total loss in most of the region, as will most other low lying, poorly drained portions of farm fields.”
He said, “Many of these fields had some fairly good yield potential prior to the storms and flooding; however, in some locations, portions of these fields had already been damaged from storms and heavy rains back in June.”
“Most farmers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa are now dealing with completely saturated soil conditions, which is likely to delay soybean and corn harvest across the entire region.”
In the Minneota area, a majority of soybeans are ready to harvest, and so is a considerable amount of corn. In some areas, it will be several days before combining can begin, while in other areas it will take a week or longer of dry conditions for fields to be fit. In many fields, farmers were be forced to combine a portion of the field, leaving the balance until the fields dry out.
Each day there’s rainfall is another day lost to farmers anxious to get back into the field and get the crop harvested.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, as several inches of rain are forecast to fall over the coming days.
The flood watch is in effect from Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning and also included Mankato, Red Wing, Albert Lea, Worthington and Redwood Falls. Rain predictions run from two to four inches for the rest of the week.