Rain lessens drought conditions
Even with above average rainfall in October, dry conditions persist throughout Goodhue and Pierce counties.
Although drought conditions have lessened, David Lewis, garden center manager and part owner of Sargent’s Nursery, said he always encourages customers to continue to water home landscapes through late October and into early November.
“Plants are still in need of moisture heading into the winter,” he said.
He recommends giving all important plants, including large shade trees, perennials and evergreens, a deep soaking a couple times a week until the ground freezes.
“Especially evergreens,” Lewis said, since this helps prevent winter burn, which is common with evergreens.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Goodhue County is split between abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions, which is an improvement from last month when much of the county was experiencing moderate drought conditions with a small portion close to the Mississippi River in a severe drought.
Pierce County is moderate to severe drought.
A total of 2.62 inches of rain fell in October in Red Wing, up from 2.1 inches of precipitation in September, and slightly above the average of 2.27 inches of precipitation for the month, according to the National Weather Service.
October had two days with over half an inch of rain, with Oct. 15 bringing the largest amount with .64 inches in one 24-hour period.
Minnesota’s harvest had a good week to end the month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with 5.3 days rated as suitable for fieldwork.
During the final week in October, more than 25 percent of Minnesota’s corn for grain was harvested bringing the total to 48 percent complete for the state. The five-year average is 60 percent for this time of year and last year 98 of the state’s corn had been harvested.
Corn conditions improved slightly with 3 percent categorized as very poor, 7 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 12 percent was deemed in excellent condition, according to the USDA.
For the first time this year, soybean progress was ahead of schedule. The harvest is now 91 percent complete, which is 3 percent ahead of the five-year average. Last year at this time 100 percent of the soybean crop had been harvested.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources still lists much of Goodhue County at 75 to 100 percent peak fall color, with almost the entire state past peak.
Pasture conditions also improved in October with 39 percent rated as good to excellent.
October had 11 days categorized as clear, 12 days were partly cloudy, and 8 days were cloudy.
October by the numbers
High: 79 degrees Oct. 8
Low: 21 degrees Oct. 22
Average daily high: 57.5 degrees
Average daily low: 38.4 degrees
Precipitation: 2.62 inches of rain
Sources: U.S. Lock & Dam No. 3, Red Wing Waste Water Treatment Plant