Harvest and snow: The fight to pick up what is being kept down

Local News

Photo taken near Rolla,ND this morning by Brendan Berg

If you wanted to find a way to wreck a harvest, you couldn’t do any better than the current wet winter storm, coupled with the rains of the past two months.

Snow definitely impacts the harvest. 

“When the snow melts,  the grain will be wet and will need sunshine and dry soil conditions before any harvesting can occur,” says Jay D. Fuhrer, Soil Health Specialist for Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Wet grain eventually results in a loss of both quality and quantity.  So from a harvest viewpoint, Fuhrer says, the present weather is a worst-case scenario.

“The very best weather for harvest would be for the snow to melt, followed by sunshine, mild temps, and a little breeze, allowing the soil surface and the grain to dry,” Fuhrer adds. “Then the combines could roll. The sooner this happens, the better the quality and quantity will be.”

As to specific crops in this snowy weather, Fuhrer says corn and sunflowers have the advantage of being tall plants. Consequently, a combine’s header can run higher and avoid any remaining snow. North Dakota has harvested this way before in wintry, cold, and dry conditions many times.  The key word here is “dry.”

Wheat is a mid-tall plant.  Fuhrer says the combine header runs lower than with corn or sunflowers.  As a result, the snow needs to be melted and there needs to be a period of dry conditions. 

Soybeans are a short plant. The pods can hang very low on the plant and the combine header will be sliding just above the ground.  Again, Fuhrer says, the snow needs to be melted and there needs to be a period of dry conditions.

Fuhrer also notes some areas of North Dakota are so saturated, that it may require freezing temperatures to keep harvest equipment from becoming stuck in the muddy muck left behind by wet conditions.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Unlicensed daycare injury

Thumbnail for the video titled "Unlicensed daycare injury"

Swimming & Diving

Thumbnail for the video titled "Swimming & Diving"

Sydney_Dollinger

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sydney_Dollinger"

Beulah

Thumbnail for the video titled "Beulah"

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Fire Hydrant

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fire Hydrant"

DAPL

Thumbnail for the video titled "DAPL"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/13

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/13"

World Kindness Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "World Kindness Day"

YHF

Thumbnail for the video titled "YHF"

Garrison Police

Thumbnail for the video titled "Garrison Police"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/13

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/13"

How Lake Sakakawea Can Create Its Own Weather

Thumbnail for the video titled "How Lake Sakakawea Can Create Its Own Weather"

Amber's Wednesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/13

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Wednesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/13"

Wednesday: Decreasing clouds with slightly cooler temps

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday: Decreasing clouds with slightly cooler temps"

Holiday Book Drive

Thumbnail for the video titled "Holiday Book Drive"

Region Volleyball 11.12.19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Region Volleyball 11.12.19"

Women's College Basketball 11.12.19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Women's College Basketball 11.12.19"

Garrison Water

Thumbnail for the video titled "Garrison Water"

LESSENING RESTRICTIONS PKG

Thumbnail for the video titled "LESSENING RESTRICTIONS PKG"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge