Drought Conditions in North Dakota | VideoAlex Hagan | 8/15/2012
Lynn Gustin was out seeding cover crops of turnips, radishes, barley, peas and sunflowers today and hoping it didn`t rain before he finished his field work. Gustin has already harvested his oats and barley, and the drought that has devastated many farmers this summer hasn`t damaged his crops.
"We had some oats and maize that looks like 90 bushels to the acre, which really surprised me too, and I think about you add up how much rain we`ve had this spring til now, you`re surprised to see that level of crops."
Corn, Soy Bean, and Sunflower still need to be harvested. A couple of weeks ago he was concerned those crops might not have enough soil moisture to mature, but he`s not worrying about that anymore.
"We`ve just been lucky, very lucky this year it was actually guys were smiling more. We didn`t have disease problems like the last two or three years."
Farmers in the Red River Valley haven`t been as fortunate.
"They are drier than we are. They need more moisture because of their soil structure and then also that the crops that they grow with sugar beats, soy beans and corn, they need much more moisture than we do here in the western part of the state," said NDSU Morton County Extension Agent Jackie Buckley.
Western North Dakota hasn`t received a large amount of rain this summer, but the moisture that has fallen, has been timely.
"Our small grain harvest is nearly complete and our yields are looking very good anywheer from 30 all the way up to 50, 60 bushels to the acre and so that`s really good as far as yields for our small grain crops," Buckley said.
Gustin says the corn crop in western North Dakota looks a lot better today than it did a couple of weeks ago because of beneficial rain. But he says the crop isn`t out of the woods yet. An early frost or a return to hot and dry weather could jeopardize the crop.