While the snowy weather may have most of us feeling gloomy, for farmers, it means moisture on the ground. After last summer’s drought., every snowflake counts.
Woody Barth; Farmer and Rancher: “We’re in the planning stages now for the 2018 growing season, whether it’s planning the cows and the pastures and the hay grounds, but also planning our crops and crop rotation for this spring.”
Woody Barth is a corn and wheat farmer and also raises cattle.
He says the recent snowfall makes a difference when planning ahead.
Woody Barth; Farmer and Rancher: “Hopefully a little bit a run-off for the streams and ponds to fill up this spring, but also it’s important to look forward knowing and hoping there’s going to be some spring rains to get our crops and pastures off to a good start come April and May. We need April showers to bring May crops and pastures along.”
Pete Hanebutt is the director of public policy at the ND Farm Bureau. He expects it to take some time for farmers and ranchers to make up for last year’s dry season.
Pete Hanebutt; Director of Public Policy, NDFB: “We’ll continue to feel it for a while. This is one of those slow-recovery things. You don’t get over this stuff over night. Because of the moisture that was lost, obviously snow cover helps. When you start in the spring with a lot of snow cover, so that you have the ground watered, obviously that’s great. We need that. It’ll be a slow recovery.”
Barth, like many farmers, faced the difficulties the drought brought and hopes the months ahead will includes much more rain.
Woody Barth; Farmer and Rancher: “We’re hoping that come this spring, there wil be adequate moisture for us and that we’ll get off to a good growing season, whether it’s the crops or the pastures for our cattle to graze on and crops to make sure we get adequate production to fill our needs.”
Pete Hanebutt with the farm bureau says it’ll take at least a year for most to recovery from last year’s dry season. Many ranchers had to sell their cattle just to make end’s meet.