Challenging Spring For Area

To say it has been a challenging spring for area producers would be an understatement.

A late winter storm that hit the area on April 10 was followed by weeks of rain and cold that put farmers behind the eight ball when it comes to getting seed in the ground this planting season. Warmer temps and drier conditions in the past week have helped, but large numbers of acres will likely go unplanted this year due to wet conditions.

“In the 27 years I’ve done this we’ve had various challenges and similar situations but nothing quite like this,” said Chad Voss of Agtegra in Langford. “The top foot of the soil profile has never been so universally saturated throughout Brown, Day, and Marshall counties.”

Voss estimated that farmers in the Langford area would fall at least 20-25 percent short on overall corn acres that they had intended to plant. A state report indicated that as of last Sunday farmers had planted only about a quarter of the corn they intend to plant this year compared to the average of 90 percent at this time.

“Guys are still planting corn and finishing up with 90-day and late 80-day seed. The last planted corn should be fairly quick out of the ground now that things have warmed up.”

Joe Gustafson, agronomist for Full Circle Ag in Britton, thought that up to a third of acres intended for corn this spring may not be planted due to the wet conditions.

“Some guys are 100 percent done, but others hardly have any corn in the ground,” said Gustafson. “It’s been a challenging year on a lot of fronts and is frustrating for farmers because they want to farm.”

The window for getting soybeans into the ground remains open a bit longer and Gustafson wasn’t sure where those numbers would end up.

“A lot of the high ground has been planted to corn, so that could affect bean acres. But farmers can plant beans for quite a while yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens,” noted Gustafson.

The state report said that only six percent of soybeans had been planted by Sunday compared to the average on that date of 66 percent. Voss estimated that about 40 percent of soybeans in the Langford area had been planted to date, but he expected there to be some preventative planting acres. He also noted that wet conditions are a problem all across the Midwest.

“They say misery loves company, and for once the misery is spread throughout all the agricultural states.

“In the 27 years I’ve done this we’ve had various challenges and similar situations but nothing quite like this.”
----Chad Voss, Agtegra, Langford

Northern North Dakota is kind of the shining star, and they are saying they want a rain.”

Despite all the moisture, Voss did point to a bit of a silver lining.

“There has been a lot of extra fence put up in a year like this to fence out sloughs that have come up, but this will be one of the greenest Junes for pasture grass maybe ever,” concluded Voss. “And stock dam waters will be good for a while.”

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Kim Vanneman put it in a nutshell.

“Farmers are strong, they’re smart, and they will persevere. It’s just a tough time to get through now.”

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282