Unseasonably warm weather has thrown off the usual winter season, with positive temperatures in the forecast that could be a concern for farmers.
They managed to get through a 2022 growing season that was somewhat fine, depending on what region you were in.
Now, the warmer temperatures will be taking away much of the snow cover that winter crops, such as winter wheat, rely on for protection.
Agrologist Edgar Hammermeister says that as a whole, this system isn't going to be too disruptive for those crops in the short term.
"A one-day warm spell, or the short week that's happening, it's not going to have too much of an impact, so long as we can transition back to a slow cooling afterward. If we had a couple of weeks of mild warmth, and then that aggressive cold, that could cause a bit of an upset and some damage."
There could be an issue if snowfall doesn't replenish the pack that those crops use for warmth.
Hammermeister says that's needed as soon as possible.
"We would love to get the cover back on to insulate the ground. The crops, as much as we do have winter hardy varieties, there's still a vulnerability to the cold. Even if we had six inches of snow, that provides a lot of insulation that protects crops from the severe cold that we can get from time to time."
While a melt during the spring would help replenish moisture for those crops, the melt right now won't be as efficient.
"In most areas, we had a little bit of rain here just before freeze-up, and that would have caused a freezing action to happen. For the areas that got that rain, there won't be much soaking in, there'll be a little bit of ponding on the immediate surface with this snow."