Wet Weather Delays Harvest - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Wet Weather Delays Harvest

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Farmers who struggled to get even half of their acres planted during our wet spring are now battling to harvest what they had been able to seed.

The problem is the same - too much moisture.

Jim Olson takes us to near Mohall where crops are looking good, but conditions are very wet.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "It was a struggle"

A springtime struggle that stretched through the growing season - a fight against too much water.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "Spent more of our time pulling equipment out than seeding."

Jeff Oberholtzer says it's lucky he has tow hooks on all his big equipment - all of his 4-wheel drives had to be pulled from muddy messes at least once this year.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "Sometimes it takes up to two hours to get a piece of equipment out depending on what's all hooked to it and what you have to do to unhook everything."

In all, he and his father managed to plant only 30% of their land this year - and now, they're having a hard time harvesting what little crop they have.

The evidence can be seen from the pickup he's driving to show me his stranded crops.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "This is part of a drainage system and you can see how the water is literally standing there still."

At this field, you can see the idle equipment - waiting for a chance to take off the soybean crop...a crop that's showing signs of quality loss due to the prolonged high moisture.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "They're harder to break open. It takes a lot of force to break them open now...they're getting rubbery."

A few miles away, we navigate a muddy prairie road and arrive at a corn field that's looking pretty good.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "Yeah, from everything I've been out looking at so far everything looks pretty good."

But a closer look shows the problem - water standing in the middle of the field.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "We're seeing a spot where we had actually seeded through it and now with all the rain and snow and moisture we've had lately, that slough is going to be tough to harvest around because the way the rows are it's hard to go across the rows but it can be done."

Still, Oberholtzer knows it'll be worth the wait, once he gets a combine running through here.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "That's a pretty big corn cob. It's one of the bigger cobs I've seen out in this field. Yeah, it's looking pretty good. I'd have to say this year might be the best year in all the years of growing it."

And for someone who didn't get even one third of his crop planted, it would be a shame if a high quality corn crop were lost to our wet year.

(Jeff Oberholtzer, Mohall Area Farmer) "When you rely on mother nature for your occupation you never know what year to year is going to bring you so you plan accordingly and hope the next year is better."

Near Mohall, Jim Olson, KX News.

Oberholtzer says while only 30% of his acres were planted this year, it's not the worst year he's had...in 2011 only about 7% of his crop got seeded.

But he's worried that this fall may be wetter than three years ago, meaning next spring could be about as bad as 2011.

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