Much-needed moisture comes to key growing regions

by | Oct 6, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Slowing harvest yet recharging the soil moisture profile for the 2024 growing season all at the same time. The moisture has been significant in parts of the Upper Midwest, idling combines and John Baranick, ag meteorologist with DTN, says some of the driest areas in the region received several days’ worth of rain.

“Especially up around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, where we’ve been just dirt dry for most of the summer. It’s been really hard to get rain for any sustained period of time. We’ve got some, especially in Minnesota into Wisconsin, and all of a sudden, we end up with four to eight inches of rain in some of these areas in about a week or two weeks’ time, so it’s been a nice turnaround. Unfortunately, it’s way too late for this year’s crop, but at least we’re kind of biting into the drought that’s been building across the region here over the last several weeks and for Minnesota and Wisconsin, the last several months.”

The dry soil immediately soaked up that moisture.

If you’ve been taking a look at the river systems, we’ve been very, very low across basically all of them for the last several weeks, and we’ve been talking about real low issues on the Mississippi River. It’s been hard to get barges up and down the Mississippi, but some of this rain is at least helping out in that regard. You’ve got to fill the soil column first before you can get runoff, and you can get additional water to work into the river. So, we took a good step forward in that.”

Even with that rain, a lot of rural America is still too dry, and several more systems will be required to fully re-charge the soil profile before next year’s crop is planted.