After Sunday rain, Minnesota farmers hope for more but say some damage is already done

Sunday's showers were a welcome sight for farmers but much more is still needed. (FOX 9)

Sunday’s rain brought a sense of relief for farmers, but the relief could be short-lived.

There are more than 25 million acres of farmland in Minnesota but, of that, the University of Minnesota estimates only about 500,000 acres are irrigated, so most farmers are completely at the mercy of Mother Nature – and this month she hasn’t been very kind.

"Up until this afternoon rain shower we were still definitely dry," farmer Dan Glessing explained.

Glessing had one wish for Father’s Day, when he spoke to FOX 9 about drought conditions on his farm last week. "Good clean rain, no wind, just a nice rainfall," Glessing said.

On Sunday afternoon, his wish came true. "It certainly is a welcome sight, a welcome sound, and welcome smell up here when the soil gets moist," Glessing said. "I’m satisfied with this Father’s Day present, it’s not an all-day soaker but it’s rain, and I’ll take it."

Glessing got .6 inches of rain on his 800-acre farm, a much-needed soaking after 24 days without any.

"It’s a step in the right direction, but we certainly need more to keep on digging ourselves out of the deficit," Glessing said.

Below the surface of Dan’s fields, the problem still isn’t hard to find.

"It’s about a half-inch down that you find this gray, dry, dusty soil," Glessing showed FOX 9. "While today’s rain went a long way, we still have a lot more moisture needed in the system in order to replenish."

Meanwhile, some of the damage is already done.

"There are areas in the field that were stressed too long, which won’t yield to the fullest potential," Glessing said.

Year to date, the area is one-third behind its average rainfall total. "We are at the mercy of Mother Nature, we don’t have a choice on the weather, you can hope, you can pray. But at the end of the day it’s up to mother nature to give us enough rain to get the crop to full maturity," Glessing finished.

The life-long farmer says about a half-inch of rain every four or five days would do a lot of good come harvest time.