“We need rain” says Marc Rasche as he rakes hay in a roadside ditch in southwest Minnesota. There’s a blue sky overhead and no storm clouds in sight. The hay was cut two days ago. Thanks to the weather, the grass has already dried enough to be baled. Making hay is the one thing the mini-drought in the southern part of the state has been good for. But nearby crop fields show the stress of too little rain. Some of the corn is already turning brown.
Rasche figures he’s seen about a half inch of rain in the last month. Rainfall since mid-July in Waseca and Winnebago is a little over three inches less than average. In Worthington, the deficit is about two inches. The quick dry down followed a wet spring. In June, there was standing water in some of the same ditches Rasche’s taking hay from now. Some farmers, though, are lucky. They can make their own rain, like this irrigator.
Marc Rasche says the corn and soybean crop can still benefit from rain. If it stays dry, he says yields will suffer even more than they already have.