Weather during harvest season in the U.S. Red River Valley, a fertile sugar beet region in Minnesota and North Dakota, has felt like a series of plagues to farmers. Rain and snow pelted crops in September and October. That was followed by a blizzard, and then warm temperatures that left fields a boggy mess.
Weather during harvest season in the U.S. Red River Valley, a fertile sugar beet region in Minnesota and North Dakota, has to farmers felt like a series of plagues. Rain and snow pelted crops in September and October. That was followed by a blizzard, and then warm temperatures that left fields a boggy mess.
The lagging maturity of the corn and soybean crop in the region is creating additional challenges for farmers this harvest season. The late development means a very wet crop, and with shorter days and below normal temperatures, there has been very little field drying. As a result, farmers are being forced to dry more grain this fall.
Heavy snow and rain during harvest on the Canadian Prairies have left several million acres of canola buried until spring, the latest blow in a miserable year that may compound farmer problems into 2020. Canola is renowned as Canada’s most profitable crop, exported to China, Japan, and Mexico to make vegetable oil and animal feed.
With a record-late corn and soybean crop creeping toward maturity this fall, the timing and severity of each region's first freeze is top of mind for many farmers. While the DTN fall weather forecast does not show a high risk for an early freeze in the central U.S., now is a good time to brush up on the agronomics behind the age-old threat of fall cold snaps.
Central and mountainous regions of Mexico are experiencing freezing temperatures this week as a deep southward dip in the jet stream makes its way well south of the border, drawing colder air from the north. The states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato are seeing the coldest temperatures, with freezing conditions likely over the next few days, particularly in elevated areas.
The state made emergency farm loans available starting in late July to those who sustained damage due to cold weather last winter. Farmers in Tehama County had a rough winter earlier this year when a freeze caused severe crop damage to almonds trees. According to a letter from Individual Assistance Program Manager Karma Hackney to County Supervisor Candy Carlson, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will designate emergency farm loans.
Freezes and frosts have damaged more than half of the Christmas tree crop in some parts of Nova Scotia this spring. The council has been talking with the provincial Agriculture Department and the Federation of Agriculture on possible emergency funding to help growers. Bonnyman didn’t have a damage estimate but noted that Nova Scotia growers export at least $15 million in trees each year.
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