Agronomist predicts good growing season around Farmington
Even though this has been an unseasonably dry year in Minnesota, area farmers could see a better crop than usual by harvest time.
At least, that's what University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist Jeff Colture thinks. He's heard the predictions of drought in the state, but he doesn't think Farmington-area farmers need worry as much as farmers in the southwestern part of the state.
"We're in a portion of the state that picks up rain, and there's quite a bit of time between now and the growing season," Colture said. "The parts of the state I'm worried about are southwestern Minnesota. The soil is just bone dry there. The other thing is, they don't get as much rain. They tend to rely on stored moisture to get through so they'll need to be picking up some rains this season."
Colture said this winter's weather may actually be a benefit for farmers in the area. The lack of extensive snow cover means the ground should thaw sooner, enabling farmers to start the planting season sooner. If anything, he's cautioning farmers in this area to not start planting too early.
"Crops like corn, they yield better in years like this. My only caution is to not plant too early. It could be a really early spring but there's still a chance of frost. I'm trying to get them to hold off until April 18. After that the potential for yield loss for an early spring frost won't be as bad," he said.
There is still a potential for a heavy snowfall, but Colture doesn't suspect it would change much in the area. The additional moisture would offset the rain crops will need this season. Having an early planting season just means the crops have more time to grow, which usually leads to a better yield, he said.