August 18, 2010

Looking for a good harvest

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

If you get up early enough, you can feel the chill of fall in the air. And if you haven’t noticed that, the combines in the fields are another indication that fall is just around the corner.
After a sporadic spring planting season, it should come as no surprise that some farmers have started harvest, while others are still weeks away from firing up their combines.
“I expect harvest season to mirror the widespread planting dates of this spring,” says Dale Naze, NDSU Extension agent. “Right now we are mostly seeing peas and lentils being harvested, but there is also some barley and Durum being combined already too.”
According to Naze, McKenzie County as a whole is expected to have a better than average harvest county-wide, even though there are some farmers that have been hit hard by leaf diseases and hail.
“There is a lot of disease and hail loss throughout the county, but because none of it is widespread, the county as a whole will still do well. In some areas that have been damaged, they are looking at 10 to 15 bushels per acre. But in the good fields it will be more like 50 bushels per acre,” adds Naze. “Of course, saying that the county is going to have a better than average harvest doesn’t mean anything if you are one of the people whose crop was attacked by disease or hit with hail, and there are still some concerns for the rest of the season.”
One of those concerns is always the weather. And for some farmers the amount of green they are seeing this late in August has some farmers concerned that if the area sees much more rain, the fields could get too muddy.
“We need some moisture,” comments Naze. “However, we are at the point now that we just need things to moderate so we can get some good harvesting weather.”
According to Naze, it’s difficult to determine what the markets are going to do. But he believes that due to conditions in other countries, wheat markets are much more likely to go up rather than down.
“Overall, I think it will be a good harvest for McKenzie County,” states Naze. “Most of the area farmers I talk to are very optimistic about this year’s harvest.”