‘Better late than never’, maybe, as farmers get crops in the ground

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By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For the first time since late March the Benson area went seven straight days without measurable precipitation. Thunderstorms rolling through western Minnesota late Friday evening provided a spectacular lightening show and thunder that rattled windows in the area, but just 7 hundredths of an inch of rain.

The dry weather has allowed farmers to rush to get in crops where the soil is still not too wet to work.

Soil temperatures have also been warming, though it wasn’t until the last day of May, Friday, that they warmed to 60 degrees at both the 2- and 4-inch depths at the Swan Lake Research Farm near Morris. The high of 84 Thursday and a high of 88 Friday, with sunny skies both days, help warm soil temperatures.

Soil temperatures reached 50 degrees May 14, but slipped back into the 40s May 18 to May 20 before finally starting a steady rise through the 50s.

 “Research shows that 50 percent corn emergence will occur in 20 days at an average soil temperature of 50 degrees, which is reduced to only 10 days at an average temperature of 60 degrees,” Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse says.

Last year, soil temperatures were holding steady in the 50s by May 5 and were in the 60s by May 17. They reached into the 70s by May 26.

Over the weekend and to start the week farmers were busy getting into fields that have been too wet to plant, but there was evidence that some areas in western Minnesota fields are still too wet work and likely won’t see a crop planted this year...

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