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Published May 30, 2013, 11:18 AM

Rains hammer Cass, Clay counties

Some fields may need to be replanted.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

Overnight rains of up to 7 inches on May 29 and 30 swamped fields in parts of Minnesota’s Clay County and could force some to be replanted, an extension agent says.

“Some fields are a lake. There’s a lot of standing water,” Randy Nelson, Clay extension agent, says of conditions north of Moorhead, Minn.

Nelson says he saw young corn plants standing in water after the rain. Those fields, and others, might need to be replanted, probably with soybeans.

Moorhead and Fargo, N.D., sister cities separated by the Red River, are in the heart of the Red River Valley. Fargo is in Cass County, traditionally the nation’s leading soybean producer. Moorhead is in Clay County.

Rainfall totals varied greatly across the two countries. South Fargo, for instance, received a little more than an inch, with other parts of the city receiving more than 4 inches.

Randy Melvin, who farms in Buffalo, N.D., in western Cass County, says his fields generally received less than an inch of rain.

“We know we’re fortunate,” he says.

John Kringler, Cass County agent based in Fargo, says it’s too early to estimate how much damage was done. Planting in the county was mostly finished.

Because it’s so late in the planting season, any replanted fields could go into soybeans, sunflowers or possibly dry edible beans, he says.

The rain should help to recharge subsoil moisture, although it’s too soon to estimate how much, he says.