The La Crosse area breathed a collective sigh of relief waking up to rainfall Tuesday morning, but it might not be enough to break the drought.
“We can’t say it’s over just yet,” said National Weather Service forecaster Mike Welvaert. “All this moisture is just going into the topsoil. We need to recharge the subsoils before we really can say we’re out of the drought.”
The La Crosse area received “anywhere between 3/4 of an inch to over an inch” by Tuesday afternoon, he said.
Southeastern Minnesota was luckier, with rainfall of more than 3 inches in some locations.
Area farmers struggling to maintain long-suffering crops through this drought emergency were especially grateful. But Farm Service Agency program technician Rod Schanke says they’re “not out of the woods yet.”
“For some, it’s too late. For others it may make a corn crop,” he said. “We’ve had quite a number of farmers who were going to start chopping (corn) within the next week — a month earlier than normal.”