The first day of the Red River Farm Network Crop Tour, presented by Pioneer, was spent dodging rains. RRFN’s Don Wick and Randy Koenen left Grand Forks, North Dakota Monday and headed south near Buxton, North Dakota, ending the day in Georgetown, Minnesota. A second leg of Monday’s tour started near Fertile, Minnesota.
Wayne Nelson of Nelson Farms near Mayville, North Dakota said the 2019 growing season is much wetter than 2018. “The Mayville area was in the crosshairs of a difficult spring. It was cool and wet, it warmed up and now, it’s cool again.” Nelson still sees good yield potential. Pioneer field agronomist Jesse Moch said the crop is variable and there’s about 40 days left for corn to black layer. “If you do the math, we need the frost to stay away until October 10,” says Moch. “We have a long way to go and hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate. Watch RRFN’s Mayville coverage.
In the Fertile, Minnesota area, Apex Agronomy owner Tony Engelstad said there are a lot of weeds in fields. “We’re able to kill most anything with glyphosate right now, but we’re getting more waterhemp on the field edges. Xtend can help with broadleaf weeds, but it’s only a matter of time until we’re going to really be worried about weeds.” Waterhemp has just shown up near Fertile in the last two years and Engelstad says farmers are still learning how to handle it.
Fields near Caledonia, North Dakota are damp from recent rains. Rocky Nettum farms in the area. “Crop maturities are an issue.” No corn is dented yet. “I checked some 80-day corn and we need more growing degree days.” Weed management is also challenge this year. Hear more from Nettum.
Crops are variable near Hillsboro, North Dakota. Pioneer sales associate Jason Schulz works with Nettum Seeds. It’s wet and the crop could use some heat. “A field on one side of the road is starting to even out with the sunshine we got a few weeks ago. The next field is very up and down because of the excess rainfall. That will hurt our bushels and slow down the overall progress of the crop. We’ll be touching frost and need some warm, sunny days.” Throughout the growing season, there was Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in the soybeans near Hillsboro. Schulz is impressed with varieties that handled IDC well.
The soybeans near Mahnomen, Minnesota are making good progress, but Select Ag Inc. owner Mitch Hoekstra said more time is needed. “August weather hasn’t cooperated as much as we’d hope. The corn is in the dough stage and a few fields are starting to dent. We need a good month of decent weather for maturity.”
It’s also been really wet near Lake Park, Minnesota. When RRFN visited with Precision Seed and Service, Inc. sales representative Corey O’Leary, there was two inches of rain in the rain gauge and more was on the way. “There are farmers trying to harvest wheat and the rain is delaying progress.” O’Leary says the corn and soybeans are doing okay. “The biggest thing we’re going to run into is maturity and getting weather we need to dry the crop down allowing combines to start rolling.” Preparing for harvest, O’Leary is enjoying the new yield estimator on the Pioneer Seeds app. Download the mobile application in the App Store or Google Play.
Monday’s tour ended in Georgetown, Minnesota. CS Ag Services owner Chad Schneck said the area is below average on heat units and above average on moisture. “We have a way to go before the crop is in the grain bin.” The biggest weed challenges are waterhemp and common ragweed. Take a look at the Georgetown crop.
Red River Farm Network’s second annual crop tour, presented by Pioneer, continues throughout this week, covering northwest Minnesota, North Dakota and northern portions of South Dakota. Follow tour progress on Facebook, Twitter and via #RRFNCropTour19.