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Weather Report for Produce Growers, May 21

Authors: Annie Klodd and Natalie Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension Educators for Fruit and Vegetable Production


This weekend's long rain event brought precipitation totals closer to the average for this time of the year, for parts of Minnesota. Much of southern Minnesota received between 1.5-3 inches of rain between Friday and Sunday. Northern and west-central Minnesota was not impacted by this rain event, and their precipitation totals remain below average. 

Images: Maps showing precipitation through Minnesota for the week of May 6-12, 2020; and percent (%) normal precipitation between April 1-May 12, 2020. Source: MN DNR Weekmaps.  

Soil Temperatures

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture publishes daily updated soil temperatures for major field crop growing regions of the state. Data is compiled from MDA managed stations in the Southern half of the state, and NDAWN managed stations in the northern half. As such, the data is presented slightly differently. The following tables provide a snapshot of soil temperatures across the state. For more detailed info, see

Soil temperatures from MDA stations, data collected to 6’’ depth:
Station location
Nearest major town
Coldest soil temperature in the last 7 days (approx.)
Temperature as of 7:30am, May 21, 2020
Blue Earth
Albert Lea (Iowa border)
55 º F
57.2 º F
54 º F
59.8 º F
St. Peter / Belle Plaine
55 º F
62.4 º F
47.5 º F
52 º F

Soil temperatures from ND-managed stations in MN:
Station location
Nearest major town
Average bare soil temp on May 21
Average turf soil temp on May 21  (4’’)
Fargo / Moorhead
64 º F
58 º F
Thief River Falls
61 º F
49 º F
Roseau (Canada border)
85 º F
58 º F

Growing Degree Days

The map below shows modified growing degree days (MGDD) accumulated between April 1 and May 13, 2020, using a base temperatures of 50 degrees F. To read more about how the numbers were calculated for this map, please visit:

Image: MGDD map for Midwest. Courtesy Midwest Regional Climate Center.

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