Winter Causes Higher Frost Depth - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Winter Causes Higher Frost Depth

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The NDSU Extension Research Center in Williston is one of the six sites in the state that has data regarding the frost depth in the soils. After this past winter, it's no surprise the depths are record breaking.

Area Extension Specialist Chet Hill says currently we have five-to-six-feet of frost depth. Hill explains why this season is above average.

"On average, over the past 20 years, we usually see about three-to-four-feet typically. So, we are definitely above average, mainly because we had a very open winter where we had very little snow to insulate the ground. That's why we've seen such a deep frost," says Hill.

Such a deep, long lasting frost also has an adverse affect on the pipes and sewer system.

"The affects are we have been hearing a lot about sewer problems and water problems in the sense that lines have frozen up or pipes to the house have frozen up. When you get in that depth of five-and six-feet deep, there is definitely a concern because our lines are typically that zone," says Hill.

For producers, there hopefully won't be too much of a delay getting their seeds in the ground.

"On the production side this is not a big concern. We need to get that first foot or so frost free. It doesn't usually take a long time, especially if we get 50-60 degree weather. But, within a couple weeks easily here, well see producers out," says Hill.

Hill also says they've already seen a bit of frost leaving the top six inches of the soil.

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