The drought that ravaged much of the Midwest earlier this summer appears to have skipped Minnesota. While most other Midwestern states have reported massive crop losses, Minnesota farmers are reporting respectable harvests with crop production holding steady.
For the past few months, farmers across the country have struggled with severe, ongoing drought conditions. From California to Ohio, record high temperatures and record low rainfall parched fields, withered crops, and dipped into farm profits.
The epicenter of the agricultural damage was the Midwest, whose farmers had counted on record corn production to generate record profits. Instead, farmers in the region were barely breaking even thanks to generous federal crop insurance programs.
In Minnesota, however, the worst of the drought appears to have been avoided. While more than 90 percent of the state is suffering from some form of moderate drought, heavy spring rains had saturated the soil, providing a crucial reserve for the summer.
The upcoming year, however, could prove to be critical to Minnesota farmers. Typically, fall rains replenish lost water reserves before winter frosts freeze the soil and make it difficult for water to penetrate. Weather forecasts, however, point to continued arid conditions. The continuing severe weather may damage Minnesota crop production. In addition, it provides further proof, some scientists say, that global climate change is a major crisis that needs to be systematically addressed.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer