2018 might be remembered as the year without autumn.
Summer turned to near-winter a few weeks ago with cold temps, rain, and even significant snow in some parts of the state.
That has put a damper on harvest for some farmers.
Jim Olson reports from Ross.
There may not be much field work going on right now – but it’s still been busy here at United Quality Coop in Ross.
(John Woodbury, United Quality Coop) “It’s been a bigger crop than we anticipated so we’ve had more grain come through than last year.”
The weeks-long pause in harvesting, has allowed Woodbury and his crew to make some room in the bins that had been filling up quickly.
(John Woodbury, United Quality Coop) “The lull actually gave us a chance to get a shuttle train out and maintain space and get some bins opened up so we could actually handle some of the soybeans that are trying to come in now.”
(Kevin Fjeldahl, United Agronomy) “The soybean harvest has been held up fairly significantly.”
Next door at United Agronomy, Kevin Fjeldahl says that interruption shouldn’t hurt the harvest results for most area farmers, unlike what might be found out east where snow hit this week.
(Kevin Fjeldahl, United Agronomy) “We’re very fortunate we haven’t had that snow event, so thing will be fine as long as we don’t get caught with another weather event.”
On the downside, there’s not much to be done with these soybeans once they’re harvested – with trade talks stalled shutting down key overseas markets, there’s a need for storage space.
(John Woodbury, United Quality Coop) “We’re getting tight on space – we actually moved into another bin that we had not wanted to go through, but to try and keep things fluid, we made that decision.”
Woodbury says many farmers are also putting soybeans in storage on their farms.
(John Woodbury, United Quality Coop) “They gotta store them on-farm because who wants to sell $6.70 soybeans? That doesn’t pay the bills.”
He says it’s just another way that a North Dakota growing season has been hit by something that’s impossible to predict.
(John Woodbury, United Quality Coop) “Every year is it’s own unique challenge and there’s always some problem with farming. It’s dry, it’s wet, there’s VOM, there’s scab, this year it’s trade wars with China and handling soybeans, but we’re farmers and ranchers and we’re from North Dakota – we’re going to perservere.”
In Ross, Jim Olson, KX News.
Ross is in Mountrail County where Jim Hennessey of the local ag department says the amount of soybeans planted this year was two to three times more than last year.