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Optimism has faded

Posted 9/22/10 (Wed)

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

It’s common knowledge that rain is an important part of growing crops. This spring the rain was nearly perfect, giving area farmers a bumper crop for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn’t let up on the rain, and for some area farmers it’s turned their bumper crop into something that is barely salvageable.
“The crops in McKenzie County are deteriorating fast,” says Dale Naze, NDSU Extension agent. “It’s just too wet to combine, and the quality of the crops is going down on a daily basis.”
“There are a lot of really grouchy farmers out there right now,” says Clayton Monsen, Heggen Equipment manager. “It’s especially disheartening this year because they had such a great crop.”
According to Naze, pulse crops throughout the county are nearly 100 percent harvested. However, the small grains are only between 50 and 60 percent harvested, and some farmers haven’t even been able to start harvesting their small grains.
“We’re seeing a lot of quality loss due to bleaching, low test weights and heads hitting the ground,” adds Naze. “I think we will see a lot of feed grain, which isn’t good, because with feed grain you lose 50 to 60 percent of the value, and some elevators won’t even take feed grain.”
The excess of moisture has many farmers weighing the pros and cons of some difficult decisions.
“We need warmer, drier weather to get this crop off, and for some folks, it’s going to be too late,” adds Naze. “For others, they have some difficult decisions to make on what their next step will be. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen harvest weather like this. But this year is such a big loss because the crops were so great.”
Naze urges anyone with questions about feeding wheat or how to get the most out of this year’s crop to contact him at 444-3451.