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Published July 10, 2010, 12:00 AM

Moisture right on target

The moisture seems to be just about right this year for farmers and ranchers throughout the area putting most crops near or ahead of average in development, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture North Dakota Field Office.

By: KB Carter, The Dickinson Press

The moisture seems to be just about right this year for farmers and ranchers throughout the area putting most crops near or ahead of average in development, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture North Dakota Field Office.

Crops were off to a good start with the early moisture, Bowman County Extension agent Andrea Bowman said. “There has been no significant moisture in the last couple weeks, but there has been enough sporadic moisture to keep the crops from drying out.”

Small grain crop development is near the average; oats, barley and spring wheat are moving ahead significantly and only durum wheat is a little behind average, according to the Field Office.

Small grain conditions are similar to the previous week and rated mostly good to excellent, except for the durum wheat. All other crops are ahead of the average in their development, except for flaxseed.

The flaxseed and durum wheat may be a little behind average because of cooler temperatures and later planting dates because of early-season rain, Bowman said.

Belfield farmer Victor Cymbaluk is pleased with his crop production this year. Despite some drowning out early in the season, most of his early crops were excellent, he said. Cymbaluk farms wheat, oats, corn, barley and livestock and he attributes the above-average production to not only good moisture but also to no spring frost this year.

“The hay was excellent this year, although a little trouble with moisture” he said. “There were some foot rot problems in my livestock also because of the moisture, but overall I can’t complain.”

Jan Hansen of Hansen Farms in Stark County is also very pleased with this year’s weather and moisture conditions. “It’s pretty good this year — lots of rain helps and for the moment our production is above average.”

The outlook for the next week is normal across the state. The best chance for significant precipitation will occur midweek and mostly in the southeastern part of the state, according to the USDA North Dakota Field report.

Bowman is optimistic about the rest of the season. As long as there is sporadic precipitation throughout the next couple weeks it will keep crops from drying out, she said. “We are still quite a ways from being anywhere near a critically dry situation.”

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