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Published May 19, 2009, 07:09 AM

Despite heavy snow, some fields are dry

The heavy snow over the past winter was not enough to put some fields out of the danger of drought, re-searchers said. At the Agricultural Research Center in Mandan, 100 inches of snow was recorded in test fields. While one field showed moisture at least 4 feet deep, another field a few feet away showed moisture only about 2 1/2 feet deep.

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — The heavy snow over the past winter was not enough to put some fields out of the danger of drought, re-searchers said.

At the Agricultural Research Center in Mandan, 100 inches of snow was recorded in test fields. While one field showed moisture at least 4 feet deep, another field a few feet away showed moisture only about 2 1/2 feet deep.

“It’s enough to get the crop started. We’re not out of the woods as far as drought is concerned,” said Don Tanaka, a soil scientist at the center.

“We had a quick warmup,” he said. “There’s a reason the stock dams are full — it all ran off.”

The big difference between the two fields was cover. The field of wheat stubble had plenty of cover while the field of corn stubble did not.

The wheat stubble allowed for a slower warmup so more of the moisture from the snow could soak in.

“Water from the snow infiltrated better in wheat than in the stubble from corn stalks,” Tanaka said.

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