Wheat Quality Not Affected by Summer Drought | VideoEvan Kruegel | 8/17/2012
"We`ve got to keep in mind that last year, close to 70 percent of our acres were not planted because of excessive moisture. Those acres were planted this year, and we had a lot of sub-soil moisture to draw upon and that was really the savior to our crop this year," said Williams County Extension Agent Warren Froelich.
The wet winter in 2011 meant last year`s crop was very limited, but the moisture it put into the ground is paying dividends this year.
"Most of the wheat was planted on ground that wasn`t planted last year, so we had an abundance of both top-soil moisture and sub-soil moisture to start the year off. And though we didn`t receive the rainfall during most of the growing season, we could draw on that subsoil moisture from one, two, four foot levels, so I think that`s really what made our crop this year."
Horizon Resources can clean and sort up to 100,000 bushels of wheat every day, and they`ve been pleased with the crop quality this summer.
"The quality is good due to a number of things. The weather has given us excellent growing conditions, along with the fertilizer. Itís a combination of everything but the weathers been playing a big portion in the yields," said Horizon Resources Grain Manager Chris Quamme.
Wheat doesn`t mind high temperatures as long as the moisture is available underneath. So in some aspects, the hot summer actually helped the wheat crop in the area.
"One of the unique things about Western North Dakota is we don`t have the high humidity and early morning dew. We do have it but not like they do in Eastern North Dakota, and keep in mind that diseases of crops are primarily of the fungal type, and fungus organisms like moisture," said Froelich.
It`s still too early to know just how good this crop is, but early signs are yielding positive results.