Do recent rains mean drought is done? - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Do recent rains mean drought is done?

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Monday seemed like one of the first days in a long while where there wasn't any rain -- so does that mean the drought that has been affecting most of the state since fall is over?

"As dry as it was last fall into winter, I'll never complain about rain again," vowed Brian Thalman, of Thalman Seeds.

For five generations, the Thalmans have been tilling the soil on the outskirts of Plato, Minn. When your living depends on the whims of the weather, the family says you get used to praying for rain.

"We were concerned that we were going to have one of the driest springs on record," Thalman admitted.

Yet, as the saying goes, when it rains -- it pours.

"We had 4.5 inches of rain from Saturday to Sunday," Thalman told FOX 9 News. "We're very thankful we got the moisture -- especially considering the dry last six months, but it's unfortunate that it came in the last six days."

Since the beginning of May, Mother Nature has dumped between 4 and 6 inches of rain across the state. That's left some farm fields looking more like ponds -- but that doesn't mean the drought is long gone.

FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard says the recent rains have been good for adding moisture to the soil and raising water levels on some lakes and streams, but he says we need another 9 to 12 inches on top of the average rainfall over the next three months to ditch the drought.

"We took a good bite out of it with soaking rains in six days of May," he said. "I think what people are going to see are lush landscapes across the state of Minnesota. It's like when you get a fresh coat of paint on your house. You feel better about where you live. We snazzied up the whole joint while helping mitigate the drought.

The wet weather has kept the Thalmans out of their fields for the last week, but as long as they can finish planting by the end of the month, they say their corn crop should come up without a problem.

"I guess we have to hope for the best, prepare for the worst, do whatever we can to get the corn going," Thalman said.

Thalman said about 60 percent of his corn is planted so far, and he hopes to finish by next week.

The state's agriculture department estimates that nearly three quarters of the corn planting is already done across the state, compared with just 20 percent this time last year.

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