MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Farmers around the state rely on the weather — especially now, as planting is underway. But because of the different weather events this spring, late planting means the growing season will be a bit shorter for North Dakota farmers.
While we’ve received much-needed moisture, farmers have had to delay planting some of their crops for over a month.
North Central Research Extension Center Research Agronomist Eric Eriksmoen says typically at this time of year, farmers have started to plant crops like wheat, barley and oats by now. But with various weather conditions, their planting has been delayed.
“The big snowfall really put us behind,” said Eriksmoen. “And although it was very welcome moisture, the current cycle is wet weather coming continuously. So we’ll have three or four days of dry weather and then another rainfall event.”
Eriksmoen says he recommends farmers change what they intend to plant this year to increase profit with a shorter season.
“So if your plan was to plant small grains, maybe go in and consider planting soybeans right now,” said Eriksmoen. “If you were planning to plant corn and you don’t have any dry fields, then consider planting another crop.”
And the weather did not just impact farmers.
Those with livestock are also being affected by the late planting too.
“A lot of producers, because of the blizzard, because of the spring weather conditions, they’ve really depleted a lot of their haystack and hay resources,” said James Rogers, forage crops production specialist. “So they’re gonna be looking to replenish that. So with the later field conditions, we’re probably having more producers that are gonna look at something like a warm-season grass, for hay production.”
Eriksmoen says some farmers may miss crop insurance deadlines because of the delay and without insurance, farmers could lose out on money that can really protect their farm.
“If farmers don’t meet the deadlines, the insurance deadlines, then they’re at risk of a catastrophe,” said Eriksmoen. “Or if that crop fails, then there’s no protection for a farmer.”
He also says farmers should consider using less inputs like fertilizer, so they won’t put all of their resources into a potentially lower yield.
Although we will have a shorter growing season this year, tomorrow is a new day and it brings hope to North Dakota farmers. This weekend with snow, frost and cold temperatures in the forecast, Eriksmoen says this could cause a further delay in planting.