As rain and snow approach, farmers pray for good harvest weather
PARKSTON -- When all else fails, why not try praying for good harvest weather?
That what the Rev. Luke Baker and about 10 fellow Christians did during Wednesday night services at Parkston's Memorial Baptist Church. Baker said the event was arranged by church deacons.
With area farmers beset with wet weather, Baker and the others felt that an appeal to a higher power couldn't hurt.
"It was pretty last-minute, but I was happy to do it. We know that God is aware of the harvest, so we just asked him to show his favor with the weather."
Those prayers weren't answered immediately. By the time Wednesday church services let out, combines around the region likely were shut down due to a light rainfall throughout The Daily Republic readership area.
The National Weather Service's short-term forecast for the Mitchell area is for more of the same with a 100 percent chance of showers today and a 70 percent chance of more rain or snow tonight.
On Friday, the chance of rain or snow will drop to 30 percent during daylight hours. Weather will clear Friday night through Saturday, with high temperatures in the mid to high 40s on Saturday
Following a 30 percent chance of rain for Sunday, the NWS is calling for a clearing trend.
Long-range forecasting models are calling for belowaverage precipitation through Nov. 11, with average to aboveaverage temperatures.
In recent weeks, area farmers took advantage of every window of clear, and sometimes marginal, weather they could find.
"On Tuesday night, we went till 9 o'clock," said Fulton farmer Chester "Chet" McManus. "It was tough all day and acceptable moisture levels were marginal."
Help from grandsons Jeremy and Jordan, both students at Mitchell Technical Institute, made the work go faster.
Long lines of trucks waiting to unload at Emery, Alexandria and Fulton elevators slowed down things for some farmers, said McManus, who was able to store 200 acres of soybeans in his own bins until elevator lines subside.
McManus figures he still has 300 acres of soybeans to harvest.
"It was a little too wet, so we had to put some air on the beans to bring down moisture levels," he said.
Area corn is at 30 percent moisture levels, said McManus, and no farmers have begun harvesting corn in Hanson County at those moisture levels, he said.
"I just don't want to see any snow," McManus said.