First rain since Oct. 7 slows the fall harvest

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The area harvest and field work has been progressing steadily this month as rains held off. That changed Tuesday as a storm system moved into Minnesota.

After 17 days with no rain a low pressure system moved into western Minnesota Tuesday morning slowing down what has been an excellent, but long, fall harvest. The rain was forecast to continue into Wednesday morning.

The rainless spell from Oct. 8 to Oct. 24 allowed fields to dry out and corn to dry down. Through the first 24 days of October the Benson area received 1.55 inches of rain, most of it Oct. 4 when 1.2 inches fell.

The National Weather Service was predicting one-half to three-quarters of an inch of rain for the area Tuesday night.

Benson saw its coldest low of the fall season when it dropped to 23 degrees Monday morning. While quite chilly, the low was still 4 degrees above the record low for Oct. 24 of 19 degrees set back in 1957. October’s record low is 12 degrees set Oct. 27, 1976.

Almost one-quarter of the corn for grain was harvested in Minnesota during the week ending Oct. 23, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable since the first week of July. While the weather allowed harvest operations to progress, there were still areas that remained too wet to harvest. Field activities for the week included harvesting, fall fertilizer applications, and fall tilling....

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