BISMARCK — With extremely cold temperatures over the area this week, experts advise farmers and ranchers not to fall into a false sense of security when it comes to the frozen ground.
The National Weather Service said right now, the Bismarck area has a frost depth of around 22 inches, which is considered normal for this time of year.
Frost depths are expected to be greater the further west you go, where there is less snow on the ground.
However, with more snow to the east, the ground can still be soft and muddy in places where deep snow remains, meaning farmers need to be careful if they’re going to try to harvest any remaining crops.
KX News spoke to the National Weather Service about what to look for before working on what you may think is frozen ground.
“If there’s not a lot of snow, they should be able to drive around pretty decently, but if there’s 12-14 inches of snow, even though they can drive through the snow, there may not be a lot of solid ground underneath them,” said Allen Schlag With the Bismarck Office Of The National Weather Service.
Schlag added that soil strength and hardness can change over very short areas, such as near a hillside where winds have blown the snow away, allowing it to freeze enough where you can drive on it.