Farming falling behind
The recent weather pattern has pushed back the fall farming schedule.
A series of cloudy misty days since September 23 have kept farmers out of the field for the most part. There is even a lot of winter wheat drilling left to be done.
However, at least the wheat farmers now have a good subsoil moisture base with which to work. Local agronomist said there remains plenty of time to get the wheat in the ground, if the weather cooperates.
And it looks like it will. It was rainy, even a little snowy, and extremely cold Monday, followed by the temperatures dropping below freezing for a few hours Tuesday morning.
Tuesday was sunny and quickly warmed up, and the extended forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and highs ranging from the high 50s to the mid-70s, with little chance for moisture, through next week.
That might open the door for farmers itching to get rolling with corn and sugar beet harvests, as well as dryland harvests, all of which are well behind last year, when most of it was wrapped up by Halloween.
John Ptacnik with CHS/M & M Co-op said the Tuesday morning freeze might have helped a bit, but the warm and sunny weather will be the best way to get the corn dried down.
There was an attempt to get the local sugar beet harvest started last week, but the weather conspired against those efforts. Local agronomist Merlin VanDeraa said the sugar beets probably will get rolling again this week if the weather holds.
Dryland fields could be ready for harvest by the end of this week, or early next week, according to the experts, including local agronomist Mike Ferrari. However, irrigated corn likely will not start getting harvested until at least the end of next week.
At that rate, corn harvest might not wrap up until Thanksgiving.