Eye on Ag: Corn Still in Fields - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Ag: Corn Still in Fields

Eye on Ag: Corn Still in Fields

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Harvest season hasn't ended for many farmers in western North Dakota.

Early cold weather and wet conditions combined to force many growers to leave full fields of corn un-harvested.

In this week's Eye on Agriculture, Jim Olson reports on the outlook for finally getting that corn in the bin.

The deer appreciate what Darcy Lynne has done. They're feasting on the ripe corn sitting on this quarter of his land near Plaza in southeast Mountrail County. Lynne is not as excited about the corn standing in the snow.

(Darcy Lynne, Mountrail County Farmer) "It's just not a good situation."

Lynne did what many growers did at this time last year - looked at the six dollar corn price and figured it was worth giving the crop a try.

(Darcy Lynne, Mountrail County Farmer) "Last year when they harvested corn it was over six bucks a bushel and it was a good cash crop. Because we were having so much trouble with scab and disease in our wheat so we needed to get a crop rotation in and that was an option we went toward."

But between then and now, the bottom has fallen out of the corn price, making the crop barely worth the effort to get it to market.

(Darcy Lynne, Mountrail County Farmer) "It's hard combining, you have trouble with snow plugging things up and it's just a lot of extra work you don't need at this price."

(Jim Hennessy, Mountrail County Agent) "The big issue right now is the moisture, what it costs to dry it and what it's worth because the value of that corn dropped drastically."

Mountrail County Agent Jim Hennessy says there's 20% to 30% of this year's corn crop still standing in fields in his county. He says it's a cruel irony that the price that attracted so many farmers to corn is now keeping them from getting it off their frozen fields.

(Jim Hennessy, Mountrail County Agent) "I would say the acres was two to three times what we usually do and for the most part to watch it grow and have that phenomenal year as far as what's out there and then not be able to get it is the tough part. And there was a lot of it you'd see in yield monitors that was 150 bushel."

It's another bit of irony that the great growing season that led to such a bumper crop also meant the crop took extra time to dry down and got caught by an early cold spell. As for next year, Lynne says there's probably not a lot of corn in his future.

(Darcy Lynne, Mountrail County Farmer) "When we planted it was five dollars a bushel now it's down to three by the time we get it delivered to the elevator so it's not a real viable option for next year. We're probably going to not seed any just for that reason."

After all, he'd like his corn to feed people, not deer.

In Mountrail County, Jim Olson, KX News.

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