GENEVA, Minn. (AP) — Farmers in southern Minnesota are hoping for some drier weather as they begin the fall harvest.
Some farmers have expressed concern about the possible impact that recent wet weather will have on tillage, the Albert Lea Tribune reported. Tillage work involves preparing soil for planting by uprooting weeds, as well as cultivating soil after planting.
Michelle Miller farms east of Geneva with her family. She said wet weather hasn’t significantly affected harvest because their approximately 1,750 acres of soybeans weren’t ready anyway.
“We could use some sun and some heat for the beans to finish maturing, but other than that, the wet is going to affect tillage more than anything,” Miller said. “It does slow us down.”
Miller estimated that they wouldn’t finish harvesting until early November. Tillage work usually isn’t complete until fields freeze for the first time, which typically occurs before Thanksgiving, she said.
“I’m not worried,” she said. “We’ll get the crop out. The only issue is how wet is the ground going to be when we go and do tillage and put on anhydrous, that type of thing. It may make it difficult.” Anhydrous ammonia is commonly used source of nitrogen for plant growth.
Ryan Hajek farms with his father near Myrtle. He said their farm is behind schedule from harvest delays due to the rain.
The last three fall seasons have had extensive rainfall, but there’s usually a dry period that farmers take advantage of to harvest, Hajek said. Soybeans will be more difficult to harvest as winter nears because of decreasing daylight hours and the need for dry conditions, he said.
“It’s got us kind of worried,” Hajek said. “A lot of people haven’t even started harvesting soybeans, including us.”