August 14, 2009

Hot, dry weather ramps up ‘09 harvest

Hot, dry weather ramps up ‘09 harvest
Scott Ruland wasn’t going to wait for the hot weather to get his combining started, but when the ideal harvest conditions finally arrived, that allowed him to pick it up a notch and get some serious work done.
Ruland, who had already finished harvesting his winter wheat, was working on a field of green peas Tuesday. He said the conditions were ideal for combining; low humidity, temperature in the 90s and a light breeze blowing out of the southeast. After finishing the peas, he was expecting to get started on barley.
“Last year the peas were doing fair, whereas now we’ve got a heavier yield because of all the snow we had last winter,” Ruland said. “You can see in the areas where the snow sat, there is more matting.”
Ruland has been growing peas the past seven years and together with his partner Charles Shobe, is growing the green variety Striker this year. He said green peas have furnished a good yield and often fetch a decent market price because they are often shipped overseas and used for food programs. Other producers have had better luck with yellow peas.
Duane Estvold, at Dakota Quality Grain in New Town, said the elevator has tested a lot of peas thus far but hasn’t accepted the crop. He said Tuesday the peas were just getting ripe, but several consecutive hot days have hastened the dry down.
Estvold said Dakota Quality probably won’t be taking peas because there isn’t enough room and most of the peas in the New Town area will be edible, so they will be placed in bins until processors are ready for them.
For an individual producer like Ruland, peas not only offer affordability, but make an excellent crop rotation with cereal grains because they break up disease cycles in cereals and they put nitrogen back into the soil so commercial nitrogen need not be applied.

The Weather Network