The drought this past Summer forced some farmers to sell their wheat for hay production, and the
plans for Winter Wheat aren’t looking much better.
“What kind of crop are we going to have this year? We have no subsoil moisture,” said Bryan Doe, Regent farmer.
Doe and his family have been planting Winter Wheat for more than 20 years.
“I like it because it helps spread out my work load. I can get some crop put out in the Fall, and gets me harvesting earlier”.
In past years, Doe would plant about 300 acres, but the drought had a big impact on what he put in the ground this season.
“It was real disappointing. We didn’t get any rain, and it equals to half a crop”.
Duaine Marxen of the NDSU Extension Center in Hettinger County said some farmers didn’t even bother planting it this Winter.
“The price of Winter Wheat isn’t just all that good right now”.
One of the main concerns farmers have right now about their Winter Wheat is the lack of snow cover the crop has so far, which helps give the soil a good moisture content, and it also helps protect the crop against the cold winter temperatures.
“It’s tough to be optimistic with no subsoil and no snow. We can hope for the best,” said Doe.
Marxen said that last year the area got about 55 inches of snow, so far this year they have received about 12 inches.
“Now we are waiting, hoping, and praying that we can have enough moisture that the crop will take off in the Spring. Right now that is not the situation, and that is why everybody has a concern”.
Doe said the only thing farmers can do is hope for the best and rely on their crop insurance, but right now Doe is focusing on one thing.
“Hoping for some more snow”.
Marxen said the drought limited farmers who planted Spring Wheat in Hettinger County to less than half of their normal production.