Depending where you are located, you probably got some much-needed rainfall in the past week, or may have received very little rainfall. There have been several rainfall events that have moved through the upper Midwest during the past couple of weeks, and rainfall locations and amounts have been highly variable. Most of Southern Minnesota received significant rainfall amounts late last week, and the coverage area was pretty widespread in the Southern third of the State. Further north, the rainfall events have been more spotty, with generally smaller rainfall amounts and more limited coverage areas.

The University of Minnesota (U of M) Southern Research Center at Waseca has received over four inches of rainfall last week, after receiving nearly normal rainfall in June. Some areas of Southeast Minnesota and Northern Iowa received even higher amounts of rainfall in the past week. By comparison, the U of M Southwest Research Center at Lamberton has received only slightly over an inch of rainfall last week, after receiving very little rainfall in late June and early July. There are areas in Western Minnesota that continue to be very dry.

The 2008 corn and soybean crop in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa made good progress in past week, as a result of some needed rainfall and slightly above average temperatures. However, most of the corn and soybeans remain about a week to ten days behind normal. Except for areas that continue to be very short of rainfall, most of the corn and soybean crop now looks to have average-to-above average yield potential. There could be considerable crop loss in areas where the dry weather pattern persists. The 2008 hay crop should also benefit from recent rainfall. After a normal first cutting of alfalfa in most areas, the second cutting has been reduced by the dry weather; however, after the recent rains, there could be pretty good potential for the third cutting of alfalfa.

Food And Fuel Forum At FARMFEST

Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Gene Hugoson will keynote a special FARMFEST Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 1:15 p.m., titled: "Food and Fuel …… Where is the Balance for Renewable Energy?”The Panel for this Forum will include five experts of varying backgrounds on this topic, including: Brian Buhr, new Department Head at the U of M Applied Economics Department; Jim Sartwelle, Livestock Economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation; Randy, Spronk, National Pork Producers Assn. Board Member; Steve Kramer, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Secretary; and Newell Searle, Vice President of Second Harvest Heartland. This topic has generated National attention by the media, members of Congress and citizens across the U.S.

FARMFEST will feature an exciting line-up of Feature Forums in 2008, including Candidate Forums on Tuesday, and the Farm Family of the Year Recognition Event on Thursday. The FARMFEST Forums are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 5, 6 and 7 in the forum tent on the FARMFEST Site, which is located at the Gilfillan Estate, 7 miles southeast of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. For more information on the Forums at FARMFEST, contact Kent Thiesse, FARMFEST Forum Coordinator (507-381-7960) or (kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com).