By Phil Picardi and Gracie Stockton
Extreme drought and sweltering heat are sewing trouble for Minnesota corn crops and backyard gardens alike.
Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed more than 70 percent of Minnesota in moderate drought conditions or worse. And for the first time this year, areas of extreme drought popped up in Anoka County in the north Twin Cities metro, in and around Benton County, and in the southeastern corner of the state centering around Olmsted County. There's a rainfall deficit across much of Minnesota and lake and river levels are dropping, too.
Nick Peterson, a member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association Board of Directors, was a guest on Morning Edition. A farmer himself in Clear Lake, he says it’s been a “trying summer” due to the complicated conditions.
“Even from the get-go, there were poor stands in the field, just due to lack of moisture — and that has persisted,” Peterson said. “A lot of crop is holding on yet. But a lot of yield potential has been taken off the top and continues to be.”
Corn is more vulnerable to lingering drought than soybeans, which Peterson said can bounce back from an early-summer beating, as long as they get substantial moisture later on in the season. But “corn continues to struggle,” he said, “pretty much every successive day of heavy heat and moisture stress.Click here to see more...