September 23, 2015

Harvest wrapping up in region

By Jerry W. Kram

As the nights are getting cooler and darkness comes earlier, farmers on the north shore of Lake Sakakawea are putting the final touches on another year’s harvest.

Mountrail County Ag Agent Jim Hennessy said the small grain harvest is nearly finished. He said a few parts of the county are a little behind, but in most areas the small grain harvest is 90 percent complete. Overall, it has been a good year for yields and quality, with a few exceptions.

"Small grains were all over the board," Hennessy said. "We have a few areas where drought hurt, but the wheat crop in most areas was good. We didn’t have a lot of vomitoxin and the quality was there along with yield. So it worked out in a lot of guys’ favor."

Durum also had good quality and low vomitoxin this year. Hennessy said the few exceptions were where producers didn’t apply fungicides in a timely manner, leading to some higher vomitoxin levels. The barley crop was very good, he added, with yields in many areas topping 70 bushels an acre.

"The crop that didn’t do quite as well is flax," Hennessy said. "A lot of guys had 25-35 bushels an acre last year. I think it backed off quite a bit. I’ve seen yields as low as 15 with a high of about 25 this year. The quality was there we just didn’t have the yield."

Hennessy said the late summer rains came a little too late for the flax crop and it couldn’t compete with late season weeds. Canola did better this year.

"Canola had a phenomenal year," Hennessy said. "We didn’t have a lot of shatter like last year. We lost a lot of yield around Powers Lake that way last year. Yields dropped from 2,500 pounds to less than 1,000 pounds. This year we are seeing 3,000 pounds and some fields are doing even better than that. Really good canola crop."

The Weather Network