2011 Ag Review: Crop Production, Prices, Inputs and Livestock

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Most of southwest and south-central Minnesota are now listed in “severe drought,” with nearly the entire state categorized as “abnormally dry.” The University of Minnesota Research Center at Waseca only received 2.52 in. of rainfall in the four-month period from August to November 2011 – compared to a normal precipitation amount of 12.59 in. during that time – which is among the driest in history. Many areas of the region received less than 2 in. of rainfall from late July until the end of November, and some locations received less than an inch of precipitation in that period. The very dry soil conditions during and after harvest season lead to difficulties for primary fall tillage, and resulted in some growers suspending fall nitrogen applications, due to concern over N loss. The lack of rainfall in the late summer and fall months has resulted in less than 3 in. of stored soil moisture in the top 5 ft. of soil, which is the lowest in several years, and is about 25-35% of maximum capacity. This could become a concern as we head into the 2012 growing season.

 

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