US farmers to get ‘exactly what they didn’t want’
A combine manufactured by Fendt demonstrates corn harvesting at the Husker Harvest Days farm show in Grand Island, Neb., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Farmers in the Northwest got a bit of break as there has been no early frost to impact their crops. However, in this painfully tough season, it seems that every one step forward has been followed by two steps back.
“They didn’t get an early frost, but they are going to get an early snowfall instead,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. “That was Mother Nature’s gift.”
What’s Mother Nature’s return policy on lousy gifts?
AccuWeather meteorologists are calling for a two-part storm, the first of which is targeting the northern and central Rockies and High Plains. The second part will bring snow to not only the eastern and central portions of the Dakotas but also far western Minnesota.
Rain will mix with and change to snow from west to east from the central Dakotas to western Minnesota during Thursday to Thursday night. However, the heaviest snow will thump in this area as the storm intensifies Friday into Saturday.
A general 6-12 inches of snow will fall from western and central South Dakota to central and eastern North Dakota, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™of 30 inches in parts of central and eastern North Dakota. Drifting will cause the snow to be much deeper in some locations. The excessive snowfall will be due to the storm stalling and strengthening over the region, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
“They’re supposed to be harvesting, and now they’re going to get a foot or two of snow – and that might take a week to melt and then you still have saturated ground,” Nicholls said. “And there’s also potential damage from the 20- to 40-mph winds.”
The storm figures to affect corn and soybean yield in the area. As a result, AccuWeather analysts have lowered the estimated national corn yield to 13.432 billion bushels and the soybean yield to 3.572 billion bushels.
The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimate is 13.799 billion bushels for corn and 3.633 billion bushels for soybeans. The USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) will be issued Thursday, Oct. 10.
Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report highlighted the difficulties many farmers in the United States have experienced this season. Just 15% of the corn has been harvested in 18 key corn-producing states compared to the five-year average of 27%. Also, just 14% of soybeans have been harvested so far compared to the five-year average of 34%.
In Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, corn harvested is at less than 3%. Those same four states are also substantially behind in soybeans harvested, with North Dakota at just 8% compared to its five-year average of 48%.
And now comes an expected snowfall for that area.
“This is exactly what they didn’t want at this time,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
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