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Rainy weather delays farmers from fall harvest

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Mother nature is once again making it difficult for farmers to work their fields. This time, it’s as they gear up to harvest. You’ll remember a wet spring slowed planting earlier this year.

Farmers are already behind schedule and if rainy days like Tuesday keep happening, they will continue to fall further behind. It could potentially result in a loss of crops.

Lisa Behnken with the University of Minnesota Extension in Rochester says farmers are about two to three weeks behind schedule.

“Generally we would start chopping corn,” said Behnken. “That’s kind of our first fall job. Should be starting to harvest, generally, right after Labor Day. We are just getting rolling and here we are, October 1st.”

Behnken says most folks were hopping to start chopping this week.

“We usually have beans that are ready, again, in September,” said Behnken. “There are some fields that have come off, but that too is delayed. Fields are not ready to harvest yet. Hope to be doing that soon, but you have to have field conditions that allow you to get in there and get the job done.”

Despite most soybeans being close to harvest, field conditions are too wet for heavy farm equipment and that’s not the only problem.

“The more challenging or fear right now, is with the amount of rainfall,” said Behnken. “If we get flooding that occurs on our soybeans, or if water come up into the soybeans, you damage that crop. Soybeans are short, they can break down, pods will start to pop open, that is harvest lost.”

Sunshine and dry conditions are possible toward the end of the week, which should improve field conditions and give time for crops to dry out.

“Corn has a ways to go yet,” said Behnken. “Again, delayed planting, cool season, just getting to black layer on our corn. So that will take a while, we’ll be in the latter part of October probably early November.”

If field conditions improve and mother nature cooperates, Behnken expects soybean harvesting to be in full swing by next week.

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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