Growing Season Around Corner, Farmers Hope for Warm Up

Updated: 03/21/2013 7:07 AM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno

With air temperatures 50 degrees colder than this time last year, Minnesota farmers are looking for a warm up to keep them on schedule.

Dave Nicolai with the University of Minnesota Extension says last year's balmy March was helpful, but unusual.

"In Minnesota, in crop growth, being in the field that early, that warm, that was abnormal," he said.

Nicolai says temperatures need to melt snow and thaw farm fields to allow farmers to begin preparing their soil for planting.

According to Nicolai, this year's freeze is 30 inches deep. "That's the concern over a lot of southern Minnesota, and central Minnesota, and other parts of the state as well, is the depth of frost."

Nicolai says the goal is to begin planting corn the last week of April, and soy beans a week later. According to Nicolai, farmers still have a few weeks before they would start to be concerned.