This spring has featured mostly cool and dry weather for most of Wright County. That brings about challenges both for farmers managing recently planted crops and for homeowners working to maintain trees, lawn, and gardens. Wright County residents can contact the University of Minnesota Extension office in Buffalo to get information, opinions, and possible solutions for issues in fields and yards. Contact Adam Austing at (320) 249-5929 (call or text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For farmers, it will be important to scout fields in the next few weeks to stay on top of potential issues. These dry conditions may lead to inconsistent corn and soybean stands, especially on hilltops or lighter soils. Pre-emerge herbicides may struggle to activate without proper moisture available, which can lead to poor control of early season weeds like giant ragweed. For livestock farmers, pasture conditions may quickly become an issue if the dry pattern continues. And for fruit and vegetable farmers, certain pests like spider mites thrive in dry conditions.
For homeowners, drought can cause its fair share of challenges as well. Mowing grass at three inches or higher will help conserve water, and watering lawn in the morning or evening will be more efficient as well. Also, make sure to keep an eye on those trees. Last year, some of the most common tree and shrub issues included bur oak blight and oak wilt, Lilac Pseudocercospora leaf spot, and maple trees struggling from a wide variety of environmental stressors. Who knows what this year will bring!
Even if the rain shows up this week like we are hoping, every new growing season brings its own set of challenges for farmers and homeowners alike. University of Minnesota Extension is here to help address issues as they arise throughout the summer of 2021. For more information on Extension, or to use our online tools to help diagnose issues, visit www.extension.umn.edu.