Large winter kill affects alfalfa crop - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Large winter kill affects alfalfa crop


STEWARTVILLE, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's sure taking spring a long time to get here.  And now that this latest round of snow has almost melted off, farmers are finding out just how bad the last several months of winter have been on some of their crops.

We are talking about the alfalfa crop this time around.  Just to give you a sense of how bad the last several months have been, most plants are supposed to be almost as high as the last round of snow we just saw-- almost a foot. Most plants this year, though, are only about 2 inches. 

And that's the good news-- at least there is some green.  In a lot of spots out in the fields, there is only brown.

It's called a winterkill and normally farmers deal with stuff like this every year-- just not on this magnitude.

This is all a result of the very dry fall, the cold winter and ice, and the spring that just won't stick around.

Things have been so wet that planting has been set back.  Here's a number for you.  Last year at this time, 85 percent of corn was planted.  Currently we have zero percent.

Farmers hope to get in the fields by the end of this week, but again that is all dependent on what the weather does.

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