July 19, 2012

Heat, insects affecting crops and pasture

Dry conditions
Heat, insects affecting crops and pasture

By Jerry W. Kram
The impact of the region’s year without a winter continues to reverberate for area farmers. Area fields of winter wheat and barley are very close to being ready for harvest because of the early spring. But the lack of snow has also left the region vulnerable to dry weather. Despite scattered showers around the area, this week’s 90+ degree heat could have a negative impact on crop production, says Mountrail County Extension Agent Jim Hennessy.
According to the North Dakota Crop Weather Report, about 2 percent of the barley crop has been harvested. Over the last five years, the crop was just starting to turn. That puts the crop development about two weeks ahead of schedule. Farmers across the state have also started to harvest other small grains such as spring wheat and oats. Hennessy said the wheat and barley are 10 days to two weeks ahead of schedule in Mountrail County.
Hennessy said that small grains that were planted later are in a vulnerable stage right now. The heads are filling and the plants need moisture to develop plump, high quality grain.

The Weather Network