Marshall Outlines Ideal Winter Conditions as Farmers Wrap Up Their 2023 Harvest

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During the summer months, farmers were starting to express some worry about the 2023 crop as the area crept into drought conditions. However, timely rains helped pull off what many described as a surprising harvest season, said West Central FS Crop Specialist Brendan Marshall. As farmers wrap up the 2023 season, it is time to start looking ahead and planning for the 2024 season. Marshall said looking ahead to this winter, while he doesn’t want to wish for snow, some snow will be good for the fields.

“Ideal conditions would be that we maybe get some snow over the winter on frozen ground and then we have a slow thaw so that it goes into the ground and doesn’t run off,” said Marshall. “If it’s going to rain this winter, just not on frozen ground so [the soil] can bring it in. Rain on frozen ground is not a good thing for anybody because it does so much erosion and tears things up whether you have flat ground or hillsides.”

Winter predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released in mid-October predict drier-than-normal precipitation levels for the Midwest with Illinois possibly seeing a warmer-than-normal winter.

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