Tom Hoverstad is a Scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca who also tracks the official weather station there. Tom said we did set an all time record in October of 2121. They have detailed weather records going back well over 100 years! For the first 20 days we were on track for the warmest October ever, by a lot until a cold front moved in. The result was for the month temperatures were only 6 degrees above normal. So, that record did not happen, but there was another record that we did set!

That record would be growing degree units accumulated during a growing season. The first frost date (32 degrees) was recorded on October 16, 2021 16 days later than normal. Plus it was very warm so we accumulated 200 growing degree units while typically we would only receive 20. In addition it was warmer than normal almost the entire growing season. Our total for the 2021 growing season was 2979 and that topped the previous record set in 1988.

Tom added that almost 3,000 growing degree units would be normal for southern Iowa where they plant 120 day maturity corn hybrids. I guess now we can say we experienced what it was like to be farmers in southern Iowa? Click on the link and listen to Tom discuss the 2021 unusual and record setting growing season!

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