On the Farm: Too Much Rain - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

On the Farm: Too Much Rain

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It's no surprise to hear that farming is a complex industry. Producers are always preparing for any situation that could arise, but there are some things they just can't plan for. Like you said farmers always try to have a plan A, B and C. Being prepared is the key to success. But a force like mother nature, is something farmers have no control over.

Three to four inches of rain fell on north central North Dakota last week. Much of the state was dealing with wet soils and high water levels, but in Berthold farmer Clayton Fegley is staying optimistic, “The crop that's not in water is looking really good.”

And that's good news since much of the state had to deal with a shortened planting season because of a wet spring and cold soil temps. However, for crops that are in dry soil right now, things are going well.

“You always have the old rule of thumb, knee high by the 4th of July, and it's getting pretty close to that, a lot of the corn now,” says Fegley.

Fegley and many other farmers, could be dealing with a loss of viable acres of crop because of the standing water.

“Corn can't stand standing in water, so I'm going to lose more acreage in corn than I will in wheat. It might be a wash, that's what i've seen two years ago when it was that wet. The drowned out in the corn kind of offset the increased yield,”  says Fegley.

Mix that loss of acres with a drop in market prices and you've got an even tougher situation for farmers.

“The USDA came out with their planted crop acreage and it was bearish. Soybeans, corn and wheat took a big hit. Corn was already down half price from two years ago, and now it's even lower," he says.

But that's the life of a farmer, dealing with bad weather and swings in the market. All Fegley can do, is keep is spirits high, and hope for some sunshine.

“I've seen the dry years, and now I've seen the really wet years. I would still lean towards the wet years over dry because in the wet years the cattleman pastures are doing really well, but in the dry years everybody suffers.”

Fegley estimates that he's lost about 10 to 15 percent of his crop acres due to the standing water.


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