According to the latest Minnesota Crop Report, our recent heavy rains have delayed the fall harvest in many Minnesota locations. Minnesota’s soybean and corn harvest is well behind the 5 year average.
So far only 19% of Minnesota soybean crop has been harvested. That’s well behind the 5 year average of 41% by this date. Last year was right on average with 41% of soybeans already in the bin by this time.
I spoke with U of M Professor and climate specialist Dr. Mark Seeley Thursday afternoon. Mark does not think the delay and coming freeze will affect overall yields much. Mark said his conversations with Minnesota farmers this week tell him that the crop is mostly made, and a freeze at this point should only reduce yields on the order of 1% to 3%. Farmers seem more concerned about any major wind event that could blow down crops in the field before they have a chance to get in and complete the harvest. So far there are no major wind events in sight.
First metro freeze tonight or tomorrow night:
Twin Cities NWS forecast minimum temperatures for Friday morning show freezing temps nipping at the west metro.
Will we have freezing temps in the metro overnight? That’s the forecast challenge.
It appears temps at or below 32 degrees are locks for most of Minnesota west of the Twin Cities. Mostly clear skies and lighter winds will allow temperatures to plummet this evening.
The big variable tonight is the presence of a cloud deck just north of the metro.
If the clouds hang in overnight, some areas may hover just above freezing. If it erodes, temperatures should hit the freezing mark, even in the metro.
The Twin Cities NWS is keeping the metro just above freezing for now. My bet is that the clouds may erode enough to allow temperatures to drop to 32 in many metro locations by morning. Look for frosty rooftops, lawns and fields by Friday morning.