The theme for the first day of the 2018 Red River Farm Network Crop Tour was variable. RRFN’s Don Wick and Randy Koenen left Grand Forks, North Dakota early Monday and headed southeast to Elbow Lake, Minnesota, ending the day near Amenia, North Dakota.
There is a beautiful corn and soybean crop in the Elbow Lake area. Pioneer Seed Sales Associates Leah Johnson and Nick Frobuccino told RRFN there is potential for an above-average crop. “We’ve had such timely rains and ,for the most part, had phenomenal weather. There’s a lot of yield potential with hardly any heat stress at pollination,” said Johnson. Frobuccino adds “there is some white mold in the soybeans.” Hear more from Johnson and Frobuccino in this Facebook video.
Minnesota’s Traverse County has the potential for a record crop. In the Wheaton area, South Valley Seed’s Kyle Dally said the corn is about five-to-seven days from black layer. “We weren’t even thinking about black layer at this time last year. This year, we had both timely rains and dry spells,” said Dally. “I’m anticipating 200-bushel corn, and our average is generally 175 bushels per acre. The soybeans have good pods, and we’ll have an average bean crop.” There is some Sudden Death Syndrome and white mold in the soybean crop. Learn more about the crop in this Facebook video.
Tour scouts stopped at the Danny Walter farm near Fairmount, North Dakota, which is one mile from the South Dakota border. “We’ve been fortunate this year with catching showers at the right time, but things are variable,” said Walter. “The soybeans look as good as I’ve seen in many years.” Walter expects an above-average corn crop. “It’s more uneven in the field than it looks like from the road, depending on the rains.”
As the day progressed, Mother Nature’s impact was felt. Recent storms resulted in severe hail damage to crops in the Sabin and Comstock, Minnesota areas. Charlie Perry of Prairie’s Edge AgriService said “farmers had acres impacted, but not 100 percent.” The tour traveled west across the border and also found hail damage near Leonard, North Dakota. Pioneer Sales Associate Cody Nelson operates Back Country Ag. Nelson said corn in the area had the potential to reach 250 bushels per acre in July. “However, the hot, dry summer is taking its toll. The crop in the area will now likely average 180 bushels per acre, which is still a respectable yield.” Take a look at the hail damage in this Facebook video.
The final stop of day one was at Amenia, North Dakota. Shawn Nelson of Rush River Seed and Chemical estimates the local corn crop is about eight days ahead of average. The crop was starting to see drought pressure, which was alleviated by an August 19 rain. “This year is different, and the soybean aphids are few and far between. That’s a good thing for our farmers in these type of economic conditions, as they’re not spending money to go after those pests.” Nelson adds there are limited issues with spider mites and grasshopper damage in soybeans.