Soil scientist sees positives of mild winter

A soil scientist based in the Upper Midwest sees mostly positive outcomes for crop farmers as an abnormally mild winter continues.

Jeff Strock with the University of Minnesota says warmer than normal temperatures have kept frost depths shallow.

“It’s allowed some of the precipitation, whether it had been snow or rain, to actually infiltrate into the ground and actually replenish some of that soil moisture that’s kind of been depleted.”

He tells Brownfield warmer soils could also result in early planting.

“So things like small grains, the soils are going to be warming up fairly quickly once we get to that point for planting. We’ll have a decent bed of moisture out there, so the plants will have something to take hold of and really start growing.”

Strock says despite the lack of snowpack, the water equivalent in southwest Minnesota starting October first is just under the total from a “very snowy” winter a year ago.

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