Effect of frozen ground on insects and grocery prices - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Effect of frozen ground on insects and grocery prices

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PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

While our temperatures are rising now, old man winter returns soon enough.

Experts say the ground is frozen solid.

Believe it or not, our winter-time ground temperature affects all of us, not during the wintertime.

Patrick Kirchhofer, the Peoria Co. Farm Bureau Manager, told 25 News farmers are at the root of it.

"Farmers do like a good hard freeze ... a couple weeks each winter," said Kirchhofer. "It helps in controlling diseases ... it helps control insect populations the following year, which hopefully will transfer to higher yields the following growing season."

After a couple of above-par years, central Illinois farmers are hopeful this winter's freeze will set up for even better growing conditions; that can have an effect on your wallet.

"It's beneficial to ... the farmers and the consumers," said Kirchhofer, referring to how a higher supply of corn or beans drives down prices at the grocery store for consumers.

Local escavator Matt Thompson showed 25 New how frozen is our soil here in central Illinois is.

He said we can thank the recent cold pattern for our ground conditions, but there's more to it than that.

"Snow cover makes a difference," Thompson said. "The deeper the snow, there's almost no frost."

Thompson said that's because the snow blankets the ground.

While that's led to some areas being frozen solid, other spots are frozen nearly a foot down.

That's much different than last year and Thompson agrees, that is good news for everyone.

"We kind of need a fair amount of winter ... for everything to be normal around here," said Thompson.

A hard freeze helps keep insect populations down, both on the crops and on us.

That's because this winter has been much colder than last year.

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