- DTN Headline News
September Soaker
Friday, September 23, 2016 12:45PM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Jerry Demmer went to bed Wednesday evening hoping his home area of southern Minnesota would miss the heavy rains that had flooded areas south of him. But when the Clarks Grove, Minnesota, farmer awoke Thursday morning, he quickly learned they had not.

"I saw the (Twin) Cities and just to the south of us into northern Iowa had some really heavy rains, and I thought maybe we missed it, but then it hit us about midnight," Demmer told DTN.

The heavy rain fell in northern and northeastern Iowa through south-central and southeastern Minnesota into western and central Wisconsin, according to DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson. There was widespread coverage of 2 to 4 inches and up to 10 inches in several locales.

The storms occurred at the boundary between unseasonably hot weather in the central and southeastern Midwest, and cooler air out of the Canadian Prairies, Anderson said. "This, along with a consistent inflow of Gulf of Mexico moisture, led to a continuous conveyor belt of storms in this part of the Midwest," he said.


Demmer said he got 7.5 inches of rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning. He said his area of Freeborn County received more than 9 inches of rain in the past seven days and almost 13 inches over the past 30 days.

"We are certainly not short of moisture this fall," he said.

Demmer is hopeful the water standing in his fields will recede quickly and harvest will proceed as normal. He points to a wet September in the early 2000s when his region saw a wet September only to have the weather turn dry, allowing for a normal harvest that fall.

After a quick drive around his fields Thursday morning, he discovered a 40-acre field of soybeans was under water. An 18-acre field of potatoes, which were almost ready for harvest, was also flooded. While the soybeans could still be OK, depending on how long the water stays, he is fairly certain the field of potatoes is a complete loss.

Demmer said he estimates his soybeans under some standing water could see some yield loss of 5% as the bottom pods of the plants are submerged in standing water. Corn, however, should be OK, he said.

About 30 miles to the northwest, Tim Malterer saw even more rain in Waseca County. The Janesville, Minnesota, farmer said he had about 13 inches of rain in about 48 hours. Most of the lower-lying fields were under water, as were many of the region's roads.

"A number of the roads have been taken out, so I'm concerned about harvesting the low ground, and then the concern is how to get the crop from the fields to the farm without major trucking delays," Malterer said.

Some township and county roads are completely "blown out" while most of the highways in the county are still passable. It will be interesting to see how long it will take the county and townships to get their roads repaired or replaced, Malterer said.

Malterer said he had just begun to harvest both corn and soybeans on his farm, finishing only about 22 acres of corn and 60 acres of beans.

Another concern of Malterer will be the condition of the crop by the time harvest does restart. While he believes he will be able to harvest all of his acres, the condition of the crop may not be ideal.

"I think at this point the beans will make it through, but they will lodge and fall over, making them very difficult to pick up," he said. "We haven't had a frost yet, so we are lucky because the plants are still alive enough to make it through."


Farther east, farmers in southern Wisconsin have also seen significant rain in recent weeks, which has led to delays in harvesting corn silage or grain.

Justin Premo, who farms near Columbus, Wisconsin, said he has had about 3 inches of rain this week. But farther north in the south-central part of the state, some areas saw 4 to 6 inches. There was even an area that got 6 to 10 inches, he said.

Premo said one of his local TV stations said Wednesday evening that if his region did not get another drop of rain the rest of the year, they would still be above normal for the year.

"Best-case scenario, if it stopped raining today, we are several days to a week out from being able to chop again," Premo said. "Similar to last year, the corn silage is going from being at the perfect moisture to too dry in the course of a week."

Bill Halfman, a University of Wisconsin Extension agricultural agent for Monroe County located in Sparta in southwestern Wisconsin, said farmers in his county face the same situation as Premo. There is a narrow window for chopping silage with optimum moisture levels. Farmers with wet fields will be delayed, and thus their silage will be less than ideal, he said.

"In many cases, the farmer chopping silage still needs to have silage to feed so it will be chopped, but the quality is just lower," Halfman said. "Perhaps for some they will decided to not chop any or maybe not chop as much as they had planned."

Jason Willemarck, who farms near Baraboo, told DTN the last two months of the growing season has been extremely wet in the Badger State. He said he has received about 4 inches from late Wednesday into Thursday. The forecast is calling for even more rain.

"I think in August it was 9 to 10 inches above normal, and to date in September is 4 inches ahead," Willemarck said. "Seems that as soon as areas dry out for a day or two, we get more."

Willemarck said the crops in his area look fairly good despite all the late-summer rains, but there have been some reports of problems with mold found both in corn and soybeans. He is concerned about it being muddy during harvest this fall. If the wet weather continues, he said he thinks they may have to wait until the ground is frozen to harvest.

"That is, if the stalks can hold up over time," he said.

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Katie Micik
Markets Editor
Friday, September 23, 2016 2:25PM CDT
Monday, September 19, 2016 12:08PM CDT
Monday, September 12, 2016 11:58AM CDT
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Sunday, September 25, 2016 2:59PM CDT
Sunday, September 25, 2016 2:56PM CDT
Sunday, September 25, 2016 2:54PM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 11:15AM CDT
Monday, September 19, 2016 1:19PM CDT
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 10:11AM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:47PM CDT
Friday, September 16, 2016 10:30AM CDT
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:33PM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Taylor
DTN Executive Editor
Friday, September 23, 2016 3:46PM CDT
Thursday, September 8, 2016 2:13PM CDT
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:39PM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Thursday, September 22, 2016 3:53PM CDT
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 4:20PM CDT
Monday, September 19, 2016 5:24PM CDT
Friday, September 23, 2016 5:19PM CDT
Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:57PM CDT
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 3:19PM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Friday, September 23, 2016 12:07PM CDT
Thursday, September 8, 2016 2:19PM CDT
Thursday, September 8, 2016 6:53AM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Friday, September 23, 2016 4:27PM CDT
Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:04PM CDT
Friday, September 2, 2016 1:06PM CDT
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 11:16AM CDT
Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:14PM CDT
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 5:04PM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 6:21AM CDT
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:14AM CDT
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 6:18AM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Friday, September 23, 2016 2:20PM CDT
Friday, September 9, 2016 7:44AM CDT
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 10:15AM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 4:50PM CDT
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 5:07PM CDT
Monday, September 19, 2016 6:31PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Friday, August 5, 2016 8:54AM CDT
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 6:24AM CDT
Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18PM CDT
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN