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Winter rainfall shows benefits for Quad Cities farmers

"Rain means grain and grain means income and income means that's what keeps us going."

DONAHUE, Iowa — The new year is off to a rainy start in the Quad City area.

While a typical winter in the Midwest involves lots of snow, the QCA is experiencing less snowfall than usual. By this time during the winter season,  17 inches is typical, but right now we've only seen 5.6 inches.

When it comes to rainfall, we've seen 1.12 inches of precipitable water in the month of January. Usually, we see 0.94 inches.

"We ended the year 2022 with a rainfall deficit," News 8 Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke said.

That rainfall sets farmers like John Maxwell, Co-Owner of Cinnamon Ridge Farms in Donahue, IA, up nicely to grow their crops come springtime.

"Rain means grain and grain means income and income means that's what keeps us going," Maxwell said. "The soil is like a sponge, and it keeps holding that moisture to the point where it's when there is plants growing. That moisture is there for them to have." 

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke said it'd be helpful come springtime if we kept getting rain.

"If we can just keep the rainfall coming at regular intervals and not solidly freeze the ground for a long period of time, I think we're going to be in good shape for the spring. We've managed to ease drought, at least status-wise here in the Quad Cities throughout areas of the Mississippi River."

The precipitation has also helped replenish some of the low water levels in the Mississippi, helping barge traffic. Stutzke also added that the last couple of winter seasons have not been traditional winters

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