By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From the start of September, we are more than four inches above average for rainfall.

Add storms and severe weather in some parts of the state, and it means many farmers are getting a late jump on their harvest.

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“At least ours is still standing, but the rain can shut off at any time,” said farmer Aaron Brand.

With little chance of getting in his field, Brand is spending more time in his barn. He’s tending to dairy cows while he waits for things to dry out on his 240 acres of farmland.

“The window is so short and we aren’t doing anything for a week because of the weather,” said Brand.

It’s a familiar story, especially across parts of southern Minnesota, from corn to soybeans.

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“If it’s muddy conditions this can get packed with mud,” said Dave Nicolai of University of Minnesota Extension.

Nicolai said the rain is one thing, but recent storms and high winds, especially in Rice County, forced many farmers to do things in reverse. Bent and broken corn stalks need to be harvested right away.

“Going after the corn ahead of the soybeans, that’s unusual this year,” said Nicolai. “Getting that crop out before it goes down on the ground.”

While some farmers have started, Nicolai believes only about 20 percent of corn and soybeans have been harvested. He said by this time of year, those numbers should be more than 50 percent.

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“There will be a big traffic jam in rural Minnesota trying to get this crop out in a timely manner. We need dry days and lots of sun,” said Nicolai.

John Lauritsen