Crop Watcher Leon Spronk shows off a Zestar apple, which typically ripes in late August to early September. Content Exchange

August storms missed the Edgerton, Minnesota area, but that also means they missed the rain, crop watcher Leon Spronk reported.

Since July 29, he recorded 0.1 of an in inch that fell Aug. 10. The last substantial rain came on July 20. Some of the crops on lighter soil were showing stress from lack of moisture.

Overall the crops are two to four weeks behind normal, and cooler temps are slowing their progress to maturity, Spronk said. Some third cutting alfalfa was harvested locally, and one dairyman commented it was the best “timely” harvested alfalfa in two years because it was cut at the proper stage and harvested without rain.

The Spronks were enjoying cherry tomatoes from the garden and picked their first “big boys” for BLT’s. The replanted sweet corn was fully tasseled and silking but slow to mature. Early maturing apples such as the Zestars were close but not quite ripe.

“A key sign is the birds are starting to eat the sweeter fruit,” Spronk said.

Some grape varieties are turning purple but two weeks behind normal.

Between crop watching and gardening, Spronk attended Farmfest Aug. 7 for the U.S. House Ag Committee listening session on the farm economy, which included Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue. It was a large crowd with standing room only.

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor

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