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Charlie Mauch of Barney, N.D., farms with four brothers and raises sugar beets, soybeans and corn. Photo taken May 29, 2018, near Barney, N.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

ND's Richland County will be richer with rain

RICHLAND COUNTY, N.D. — North Dakota's southeast corner in the Red River Valley — could use some rain.

Charlie Mauch farms with four brothers — Jeff, Kevin, Craig and Wayne — in a company called JKCWC Mauch Brothers, named for their first name initials. The five Mauchs raise corn, soybeans and sugar beets.They got their crops planted swiftly, but now could use an inch or more of rain. Their farm ranges from heavy ground to really light soil, from Mantador, to Great Bend and to Wyndmere, N.D.

Charlie Mauch of Barney, N.D., digs for sugar beet seeds that haven’t emerged, presumably because of lack of moisture."We could use a shot of rain here," Mauch said on May 29, seemingly calm in the absence of a needed storm and in the presence of temperatures in the 90s.

The Mauch brothers' sugar beets went into the ground a little later than the Mauchs normally plant them, due to early moisture, but the ones that have germinated are growing well. "We're trying to spray but the wind is holding us back," Mauch says. Beet-spraying was first on the agenda. During the wait, Mauch was hauling some soybeans to town that were sold under a contract.

The story was similar a few miles west, where Greg Selzer at Wyndmere said things will be okay — if it rains.

Charlie Mauch of Barney, N.D., loads soybeans to fill a contract while waiting the wind to go down to allow spraying.The Selzer family at their Lazy Acres Farms raises corn and soybeans. Greg and his father, Ron, got off to a good start planting, but haven't seen substantial rains since the snow melt, Selzer said. It is generally too dry in a broad area, but some farmers have caught some rains.

"Corn emergence is good for the most part, but a couple of fields need a rain even to get it out and a lot of the soybeans are in dry dirt," Selzer said.

The issue has become the primary coffee shop topic, Selzer said. "A lot of fields will not emerge until it rains," he said. "It'll be some time." It'll take a good inch or "soaking rain" to get the crop out of the ground, he thought.

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