ST. CLOUD - Heavy rainfall and cool temperatures aren't the only things hampering crop growth this year. Wind erosion is proving to be a major issue for area farmers, too.

Dan Martens is the University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties.  He says our unpredictable weather patterns and consistently strong winds have affected the top layer of soil.

Martens says soil erosion due to heavy rainfall is also a factor, even on flat land.

Reports suggest a bumper crop of corn last year prompted many farmers to plow and till excessively to remove an excess of crop residue, leaving bare soil unprotected from water and wind.