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Farmers see big drop in yields

Posted 8/31/11 (Wed)

By Olivia Sundeen   
Farmer Staff Writer

Usually farmers in western North Dakota are singing, dancing or even praying for rain. But this season many farmers seem to have changed their tune. And as harvest starts to get going, farmers are realizing that because of the record moisture received this past spring, they may not be seeing the yields that they are accustomed to, or more importantly, even what they were hoping to see.
“Harvest is just getting going,” stated Ron Klang. “Proteins are just getting good, but still yields aren’t what people think they are.”
Even though the drier and breezier weather has been helping bring crops to maturity and closer to being ready to be harvested, farmers are still running into issues from the wet spring.
“A lot of people were late getting into the fields this spring and now they are going to be late in getting their crops harvested,” states Calli Thorne, NDSU Extension agent.
And for farmers, getting into the fields late this year is going to mean substantially lower yields and grain quality.
“I have heard reports of farmers getting anywhere from 15 to 50 bushels an acre,” states Thorne. “Some thought it would be a better harvest because of the rain, but instead the ground was just too wet.”
It is hard to predict what the end verdict will be on this year’s harvest as combining operations are just getting started in most parts of McKenzie County. But with time running out before the first hard frost brings this year’s harvest to an end, farmers are rushing to take advantage of every hot day that they have available to get their crop off.
“This will be a shorter harvest,” stated Daniel Dwyer, local farmer. “Unfortunately, no one was able to get all of their acres planted. With all of the rain we’ve had, we expected more yield. Crops looked really good, but we had lots of springs start to pop up in our fields causing crops to be flooded out.”
Mother Nature gave the rain so many asked for instead of the usual drought-like weather most are used to. Maybe next year, there will be a happy medium.
“It was basically too cool and too wet for too long,” states Kent Taylor of Taylor Ag Services. “Farmers almost had to plant in the mud, and now the tone I am getting from farmers is that they are disappointed in the yields.”
The overall consensus of the farmers appears to be the same.
“Harvest just isn’t going as well as people would’ve thought, or liked,” stated Thorne.
What is planted, must be harvested. And now farmers have their fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates as they work long days and nights to harvest what they can.