Fall rains can be one of the best or worst things in agriculture in this part of the world. It’s difficult to overstate the frustration that farmers experience when unwanted fall rains delay harvest and make fields a muddy mess. It’s also difficult to overstate the satisfaction that farmers experience when wanted fall rains recharge depleted soil moisture, improving the odds of a good crop the following year.
The moisture arriving this fall is welcome indeed. A summer of drought has left the region parched, and there’s little, if any, worry about finishing the rest of the mostly concluded harvest.
The thing about drought, of course, is that it doesn’t end with the return of normal precipitation. Fields won’t be recharged fully until and unless there’s a long period of above-normal moisture.
The moisture received across parts (but definitely not all) of the Upper Midwest in recent weeks is merely a start. But it’s a start nonetheless. We’ll take it.