Chilly morning weather has harvest-ready farmers concerned

It's been on the chilly side for much of the last week, especially in the mornings. That's a concern for farmers ready to harvest.

After much of the month saw typical August heat paired with high humidity, this week has seen temperatures into the 50s and 60s. But farmers are still feeling the heat.

Crop production has already been hindered throughout the season. A late planting season already set growers back weeks to months.

"Some of our rural crops like corn and soybeans, they're a little bit behind schedule by a couple weeks and we might not get to get the amount of growth and progress within the crop to be quite there before the frost. So we're hoping for a later frost, but the cooler temps may not help," said Beth Burdolski, Burleigh County Extension Agent.

Moisture has been good for this season, but Burdolski said it might be too much of a good thing. The humidity stuck around even after the temperatures dropped.

"It looks like there's a potential for a phenomenal yield, but it does take heat units for those plants to mature. And right now, we're kinda getting short on those heat units," said Rick Schmidt, Oliver County extension agent.

All the small grain crop is normally harvested by this time. Schmidt said roughly 30 percent is still in the fields. The humid mornings and cold temps are holding farmers from harvesting until the middle of the day.

"And so the question is: if we get an early frost, and if we don't get the corn developed enough, it probably will be really light test weight or there could be some problems reaching the black line on time where it'll actually mature the way it needs to do that," Schmidt said.

There's always a chance of frost, but producers are on a shortened schedule.

Crops need either the temperature to rise or the humidity to drop. Based on the forecast, that opportunity won't be coming soon.