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Video: Wintry October Weather Puts Corn Harvest On Hold, But It’s Likely A Temporary Setback

Oct 27, 2020 06:30AM ● By Editor

Watch the WCCO-TV Report here

Photo: WCCO-TV

By John Lauritsen of WCCO-TV - October 26, 2020 

For much of the fall, farmers were humming along. But winter weather in October has left combines quiet, and corn in limbo.

“Seven and a half inches of snow. We’ve never had that in October before,” said Tom Hoverstad.

Hoverstad is a crop scientist for University of Minnesota Extension. In 40 years of work, he doesn’t remember a fall quite like this, where farmers are waiting for snow to thaw off and fall off the stalks.

“Because that seven and a half inches of snow contains over an inch of liquid water, it’s going to be muddy. It’s going to be muddy,” said Hoverstad.

The good news is before the October snow fell, most farmers were ahead of schedule. And the forecast may allow them to get back in the field before long.

Dry, warmer temperatures with sun should help melt away concerns. Hoverstad says the early planting season carried through an ideal growing season. With prices now looking up, a banner year for some corn growers isn’t out of the question.

“October 2009, was miserable. We didn’t have this much snow. Probably three inches of snow, but a lot more rain and it was very cold. November that year was warmer and drier than normal and that’s what I’m hoping for,” said Hoverstad. “As soon as fields are fit and the snow is off the stocks, they can go get that corn.”

Hoverstad thinks that if the forecast holds true, most farmers will be back in the field in a few days.

To watch the original report and see related stories, follow this link to the WCCO-TV website.

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