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Growing season starting off differently this year

The growing season is starting off differently across the Corn Belt.

Flooding caused by heavy rains across northern Corn Belt states including Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota in the last week has damaged crops.

Minnesota’s Deputy Ag Commissioner Andrea Vaubel tells Brownfield state leaders are still trying to understand the extent of the damage.

“We’re encouraging folks to reach out to their Farm Service Agency county offices to talk about the damage they’re seeing so we can see what kind of emergency or disaster response we can get through USDA or the federal government.”

In Illinois and Missouri, conditions have been hot and dry with moderate drought starting to creep back in. There is rain in the forecast for some areas this week and Missouri Ag Director Chris Chinn says there are mixed feelings about it.

“Farmers are still trying to get that hay done and they’d probably would wish it would hold off a little longer, but for the growing crops and to ensure our pastures can get through the summer, we need the rain.”

Ohio and Indiana have also been warm and dry as the growing season begins. Indiana Ag Director Don Lamb says “anytime you get heat like we’ve had will have an effect and be stressful on the crops.”

Meteorologist Drew Lerner with World Weather Incorporated tells Brownfield there are timely rains in the forecast for drier states in the Central and Eastern Corn Belt and in the Northern Corn Belt, there will be a short-term improvement in excessive moisture, but more rain expected later this week.

Brownfield interviewed Vaubel, Chinn and Lamb at the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture Regional Meeting in St. Louis this week.

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