Wheat harvest rolls on

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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HALLIDAY, N.D. - USDA reports nearly half of North Dakota’s spring wheat crop has been harvested.

That’s ahead of the average, and many producers weren’t even sure they’d have anything to harvest.

Still, the drought has taken a toll.

This has been a year like no other for Halliday producer Jeff Kling. He’s happy to be in his combine, harvesting wheat.

“I’ve just been blessed there’s actually something,” he said from the cab of his combine.

For a while, he wasn’t sure there would be a harvest.

“The wind blew all summer and then in the heat killed us,” Kling said.

Kling says wheat yields are averaging 15-23 bushels an acre. That’s well below average, but he says the quality is good.

“I did take a load into town and the test weight was really good protein was outstanding,” he said.

When he’s done cutting this wheat, he’ll graze his 225 head of cattle on the stubble.

In the meantime, the blooming sunflower fields across the road help him stay positive.

“They put a smile on my face every morning,” he said.

He knows yields will be down from last year, but he’s still hoping they’ll be profitable.

“I’m looking at probably 1,000 to 1,200 pounds but the stand is there we did get some rain last week they did perk up a little bit,” Kling said.

That’s enough to keep his spirits up.

“We’re going to get through this no matter what,” he said.

Kling says he’s received only about four and a half inches of rain this year so far. That’s about half what he’d normally have by now.

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