Monitoring how much moisture can be absorbed before the season’s freeze

A climatologist says he’s closely watching how much soil recharge there is before the first hard freeze of the season across the Corn Belt.

“We have a long ways to go with some of the dryness that we’re still seeing.”

Brian Fuchs with the National Drought Mitigation Center says timing will be critical for an active weather pattern over the next two-to-three weeks. “How much moisture? How much water can we get infiltrated into the soil? How deep can we go with it before it freezes up? That’s going to be key.”

He says the Western Corn Belt has seen some drought relief, but wintertime has been an ongoing issue. “Two to three years now of dryness, and one of the key features of that drought during this time has been the lack of soil moisture in those regions.  If we can put anything in that bank account so-to-speak before we freeze up for the winter and have it there for the next production year is going to be key.”

Fuchs says rain and snow is in the forecast for portions of the Midwest and that could delay harvest and fall fieldwork.

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