Filed under: cold, Farm, Ice, Minnesota, planting, rain, seasons, weather | Tags: cold, farm, frost, frozen ground, ice, long term weather, Minnesota, Planting, rain, southwestern minnesota, spring, weather
The past months have been a challenge here in southwestern Minnesota. It seems that every bit of rain just skids by leaving us with little or no moisture. We have watched major storms move both north and south of us for almost a year now. The weatherman will say we have a 90% chance of rain, and we stay dry. I really am beginning to wonder if we will have enough water in the soil to do more than get our crops started. The next few days are giving me hope. It has been raining all morning and more is forecast for the next few days, a real spring soaker.
The yuck factor sets in as the temperatures drop and our soaking rain turns to ice again. I do not remember a year with so much ice in all of my 60 years here. We’ve had enough warm weather here to thaw the upper part of our soil, but I’m not sure if the frost is gone yet or not. A cold rain will not help to thaw our frozen ground. At least the forecast is for several days of moisture, then some warm weather, planting time is fast approaching and we need some warm.
Leo, our local weather prognosticator, has put out his long term weather for our area and it is cold and dry. Leo uses the first full days of spring to forecast the years weather. I have been amazed at how often he is right. His forecasts are a bit vague, but anytime you are forecasting for a full year in advance it is hard to be specific. I can only hope he is wrong about the dry part of the forecast.
No matter what the weather, we will do our best here to get a crop in the ground, after all, we have a world to feed.
Filed under: frost, Minnesota, Trees, winter | Tags: farm, fog, frost, frost on trees, Minnesota, southwestern minnesota, trees, winter, winter magic
Our area of Southwestern Minnesota has turned magical after three days of fog. This morning the sun came out and added some sparkle to the trees.
The tiny spears of frost were everywhere, even on a few rocks.
The frost was perhaps most striking when it was on the green of pine boughs.
Some branches held a lot of frost, others held only a little.
Soon the wind and sunlight will remove the frost from the trees and we will go back to our monochrome winter world. For now we have a bit of magic in the trees. Hope you enjoyed this bit of winter magic.
Filed under: cold, Fall, Farm, frost, Minnesota, pond, seasons, Trees | Tags: autumn, falling leaves, farm, frost, leaves, Minnesota, pond, trees, wind
With all of the cold we’ve had lately most trees have been shedding their leaves quite quickly. The lack of rain has meant that the leaves have remained dry and light in weight. Some trees, like the catalpa shed their leaves mostly in one day, its large leaves dropping like rain as the frost went out one morning. Many leaves in our area blew off in the wind and made piles in sheltered areas, or blew into the water. A few leaves are still hanging in there. Here’s a few pictures for you.
Only a few leaves remain on this maple. The leaves have been turning from red and gold to brown as they wave goodbye to fall.
While most of the leaves are gone from our trees, this maple has hung on to its leaves. Oak also are waiting to shed their summer glory as their now brown leaves cling to the branches. Locust have compound leaves, and so may shed a leaflet or two before the whole leaf drops.
The pond has been a leaf magnet. Leaves hit the water and stop. I have scooped wheel barrows of leaves out and still the water is brown with leaves. It’s a wonder that the fish can swim in it sometimes. The leaves dam up our little creek and cause the water to run places I do not want it to go.
As the temperatures cool we will lose more of the leaves, a little at a time, as each leaf lets go of its summer hang out and drifts to the ground. It has really been a colorful autumn here in Southwestern Minnesota. Perhaps one of the most colorful I have ever seen. Just 44 more days to winter.
Filed under: Farm, frost, harvest, Minnesota, Soybeans, weather | Tags: early freeze, farm, frost, frost damage, Minnesota, Soybeans, weather
The frost of a week ago seems to have done more damage to the soybeans than I originally thought. If the plants were green the top leaves were killed. Any leaves left on the plants are showing some damage from the frost.
The greenest soybeans took the hardest hit. It will be interesting to see how this impacts yield.
If it had been a hard freeze you would smell the silage like odor from the stems being frozen and starting to rot, so I think the damage should have been only to the leaves. This means that the stem will still work to fill the pods.
Our driest beans still have some green in their pods, but few leaves.
When you pop open the pods you can see that the beans of even our most mature beans are a bit green. It will take some time yet before the fields are ready for harvest.
Looking across the fields you cans see areas of greener beans. The frost should hasten the drying of the whole field. It will still take some time before we can begin soybean harvest, but harvest has been hastened by the frost.
Filed under: cold, Fall, Farm, frost, Minnesota, Soybeans, weather | Tags: cold, farm, frost, harvest, Minnesota, Soybeans, weather
Some areas of Minnesota picked up a bit of frost this morning. We were in Burnsville overnight and drove back home in the early morning. Our car had frozen water on the roof and in many places we saw frost on cars and roofs. On our drive home the temperatures ranged from 32 up to 40, so it was a brisk morning.
Farm fields through out our drive were much the same. Low areas either still had water standing in them, or showed evidence of being under water. Some areas had dried out enough that the soybeans had been harvested. There are a lot of bean fields left to be harvested.
We are over half done with bean harvest. So far we have left very little. There have been a few places we have left ruts, but I have yet to get so far in I could not back out. All of our water has gone away, but the ground is still wet. I expect to finish soybean harvest on Tuesday if everything holds together.
Filed under: Corn, Farm, frost, Minnesota, organic, rain, weather, weather wisdom | Tags: Corn, farm, frost, hot, Minnesota, organic, rain, weather
My dad says that corn is safe from frost 45 days after tasseling . With almost every field of corn in full tassel now we should be able to avoid frost damage to this years crop. This year has seen crop development ahead of normal. That is good for our corn fields on all counts.
My neighbors organic corn is still a ways from tasseling. I’m not really sure why, it got planted about the same time as all of the others around here. It’s either a varietal difference or a fertility problem. I’ll be watching to see how that corn does.
We’ve had an abundance of rainfall this year. That has made too much moisture a limiting factor in some places. Some of our low areas held water for a long time and there will be no crop harvested there. Conversely our high sandy ground looks really good. It is possible we could get a good crop from those areas that are prone to drying out this year.
It almost seems that we need to get a bit of adverse weather some time in the year just to push corn to do its best. Heat especially is needed. We’ve had several days now of hot humid weather and the corn is really growing. Tassels and ears seem to appear overnight.
Wet weather is really good for pollination. We’ve had some small showers and heavy dews that should help get the pollen to stick. Starting tonight we are supposed to get a few days of rainy weather. Rain now should really make for well filled ears. Then we will need about an inch of rain a week to make optimum kernel size. With wet soil, we could get by with a bit less. The fields are looking good.
Filed under: cold, Corn, Farm, frost, garden, Minnesota, Soybeans, spring, Uncategorized, weather | Tags: Corn, frost, garden, Soybeans, spring, weather
We woke to temperatures below freezing. Frost on the ground is not what we want to see after so much is planted and some even has emerged. Now we find out how much damage was done. We did have temperatures down to 28 for a while. Some plants will be able to handle it, some will not.
The corn that is up should be able to take the cold, I’m not sure if the soybeans I’ve heard some people have up will. The growing point on corn stays below ground for quite a while. Soybeans put their growing point right out for the cold to damage. I’ll be watching to see what may happen to the garden produce that I have up.
We have rain forecast for the next two days. Temperatures should increase through out the week. Hopefully this is the last cold for the spring.
This mornings temperature was about 30. Definitely cold enough to stop the growth of most plants. With a forecast for even colder temps the next few days and even a chance of snow, the growing season is now over. Now we need some dry weather to get the crops ready for harvest.