Rosemount, Minin (WCCO) – While the rain and snow in early April may have been viewed negatively by many who wish the winter finally ended, the recent weather has been a benefit for Minnesota farmers.
The growing season has yet to begin across the state, but experts at the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources say the wet weather is already chipping away in drought conditions that have plagued much of 2021.
In the fields at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center, AG research and production manager Blake Webster says the rain is a complete welcome sight.
“Beyond that is important, absolutely,” Webster said. “We really at this point have relied on the rains to recharge the aquifers and bring us back to where we need to be to start the season.”
Although dry conditions in 2021 meant that farmers were able to start planting in the first week of April, it ultimately cost farmers with poor soil conditions.
“We hit the field on April 5 last year with small grains and really the net never really came,” Webster said.
“We want to recharge our soil network because we had a major drought situation last year,” said Dave Nikolai, also with the University of Minnesota.
Nikolai says that the spring was so wet, areas of western Minnesota have been exiting what would be considered drought conditions.
“In terms of our farmers in eastern Minnesota, we need the rain,” he said. “But there’s a point where I really look forward to sunlight and not having to wear a jacket.”