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Rain comes just in time

Posted 6/10/09 (Wed)

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

Nobody wants to see cold weather in June, not even in North Dakota. But area farmers are thankful for the unseasonably cool temperatures we’ve seen so far this June.
Until recently a lack of moisture had many farmers thinking they wouldn’t have much if anything to harvest.
“The only thing that saved the crops through this dry spell was the cool weather,” says Owen Hamre, McKenzie County farmer. “On Friday things were looking pretty bad. We were really hurting for moisture, so I’m ecstatic to see this rain.”
According to Dale Naze, NDSU Extension agent, prior to this weekends rain, the crops were in tough shape but still holing their own.
“The growing season started out looking good,” says Naze. “But as of Monday, June 1, we were 66 percent behind in rainfall for this growing season. There was only 68 hundredths of rain in May, which was really hard on crops.”
Even though things were looking grim, farmers remained optimistic and continued on with things as planned, hoping for the best.
“Things have gone on,” says Naze. “Taylor Ag has been busy spraying and the farmers are going about things as normal, just hoping for rain.”
Hoping and praying for rain, which began to fall just in time, as of Friday, June 5. According to the United States Drought monitor, McKenzie County is listed as abnormally dry, with the western portion of the county very close to drought stage.
“If it rains normally through the rest of the growing season the crops could be okay,” adds Naze. “The hay won’t be as good as expected and some crops may be a little late, but at least it won’t be a complete loss.”
Even though the cool weather is what saved most of the crops from dryness, it has also been a curse to some because of frost.
“It’s hard to say how much damage has been done by frost,” says Naze. “It just depends on how heavy of a frost the crops received. Some will have to come back all the way because of heavy frost, while others were able to survive through the frost.”
At the end of last week, many area farmers thought they would have nothing to harvest, but the weekend’s rain brought back their hope and hopefully, their crops.
“I took my combine in to be fixed, but I really didn’t think I was going to need it,” says Hamre. “Now I’m glad I took it in because it looks like we will be okay, at least for a couple of weeks anyway.”