Variable weather may push the harvest back a week or so for producers in southwestern North Dakota, reported “Kazakh-Zerno” IA with reference to the “Farm & Ranch Guide“.
Some frequent rain showers, although with little accumulation, came through nearly every day last week.
“We’ve been getting some rain almost every day with .10, .15, one day with half an inch and another with 1.5 inches,” said Randy Reich who farms with his dad, Ron, north of Burt.
Some of their acres close to Burt got pounded with hail two weeks ago. About 20 percent of their acreage was affected, he said.
It is the second time hail has hit their farm this summer, with the damage this time worse than the first hit.
Many producers in southern North Dakota were hit by the same hailstorm on Tuesday, July 13. It did damage totaling anywhere from 10 percent to totaling out fields, according to Extension agents in the southern counties.
Fortunately there was little wind with the hail that hit their acres, Randy said.
“The hail came straight down, so it did less damage than if there had been wind with it,” he said. “Some of the hail was baseball sized in the area, and some was even grapefruit-sized. It was the biggest hail I’ve ever seen.”
Their canola, winter wheat and sunflower fields by Burt were affected. And their sunflower fields, which were nearing 4-feet in height, were totaled out.
Crop adjusters came out and adjusted the sunflower fields to 22 pounds per acre, Randy said. They only have a couple hundred acres of sunflowers left.
He said they will go in and spray the hailed-out acres with Roundup and another broadleaf and thistle control chemical to clean it up next week.
Most of their acres of their winter wheat was affected by hail, and only a small part of their total canola fields were affected.
Randy said they will have to wait and see how the crops will look.
“It takes canola a little while to come out of a hailstorm – if it does. It is all laying over in the field right now,” he said.
With the hailed-out winter wheat, they will go in with the combine and check it for quality and quantity to see if it is worth cutting.
“Everybody around Burt got hit with the hail. There is a lot of windows broken and shingles off of roofs,” he said.
The rest of the canola acres are looking great, Randy said. They only had a couple of hot days in the last couple weeks, for the most part its stayed cool so instead of beginning to turn, the canola is continuing to fill pods.
“We have had a lot more heat units this summer than last,” he added.
While they had planned to start winter wheat harvest by the end of July, that looks like it will be pushed back a week or so. The crop is still green with the recent rain showers.
Meanwhile, they are just about finished cleaning up their elevator in Mott. They moved the grain bins on to some new cement, and hauled in some gravel into the elevator site.
“Mainly, we’re out scouting now every day to check the crops after each rainstorm,” Randy said.