Wheat producer more concerned about crop price than weather

The recent stretch of cold temperatures has delayed planting season for some producers in the Western part of the state but is there cause for concern?

Billings County wheat producer Ed Kessel said his Spring Wheat crop is about 10 percent planted, but he would like it to be farther ahead.

“I would like to be 25 percent done”.

Recent weather conditions have caused producers to delay planting

On the day KX News met Kessel in his field, the temperature was in the thirties with light snowflakes falling, but the producer said this is just the life of a North Dakota farmer.

“This here is normal to see a snow shower this late,” said Kessel.

Ideally, he would like to see temperatures in the seventies and on the drier side, because the equipment works better in those conditions.

“The drill needs to penetrate the stubble and if it’s damp it just pushes, but if you can get warm conditions it will cut it,” said Kessel.

The North Dakota Wheat Commission said statewide only five percent of the 6.7 million acres of Spring Wheat has been planted.

However, this time last year only three percent was planted and producers had a record year.

They harvested 98 percent of the 6.5 million acres and brought in an average yield of 49 bushels an acre.

“Being delayed isn’t a big thing. It is a matter of when the rains come and how much you get,” said Kessel.

He said his main concern right now isn’t the weather but the price of Spring Wheat.

It’s a little more than $4 a bushel.

“Wheat is almost down near a dollar compared to last year per bushel. If we can get it in the ground we can grow it, but we still have to market it and be profitable,” said Kessel.

Right now he says the only thing he has control over is the condition of his equipment-
and he hopes the weather breaks in the next couple of days so he can get back in the field.

Kessel said he harvested about 50 bushels per acre last year.

 

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