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Rains help east-central S.D. crops

MADISON, S.D. -- Dan Bruns says the crops are looking pretty good in his corner of southeast South Dakota. Dan, 66, and an older brother established Bruns Angus Farms at Madison, S.D., with registered cattle in 1972. "My dad ran a commercial Angu...

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Regular rains have been helpful at the Bruns Angus Farms headquarters, just north of Madison, S.D. Photo taken June 12, 2017, near Madison, S.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

MADISON, S.D. - Dan Bruns says the crops are looking pretty good in his corner of southeast South Dakota.

Dan, 66, and an older brother established Bruns Angus Farms at Madison, S.D., with registered cattle in 1972.

"My dad ran a commercial Angus operation in the early 1960s," he says. "My oldest brother and I started with a registered operation, buying a few heifers for 4-H."

Dan went to the Army after high school and after that went into the cattle and farming business. Today, Dan and his son, Jesse, 38, run 450 registered Angus mature cows and do an extensive artificial insemination program as well as embryo transplant. They host a bull sale the first week of March every year, selling about 100 Angus bulls, in an on-farm shed and ring they built about 10 years ago.

As Dan moves toward retirement, management is shifting to Jesse, who also works at the Madison Livestock Sales Co. Inc. as a field representative one day a week. The family has a small crop farm - corn, beans and alfalfa. They have about 800 acres of corn and beans, 200 of alfalfa, and 1,500 acres of grass.

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Some of the larger farmers in the neighborhood started planting corn in April, but the Bruns family got started in early May and finished beans June 1, Jesse says.

"We're fortunate, we've caught some rain that got all the herbicide going and got the crops started pretty good," Dan says. The farm has mostly escaped drought except for 1976 and 1993.

"We've had a good run for a number of years," he says. But the concern today is the commodity prices. "The younger generation needs that to keep going and so does the older generation, but everything keeps on going. Once you're in this business you just stay with it."

And getting the rain makes it possible to relax and follow the Minnesota Twins baseball team.

"I watch them all the time," Dan says.

Related Topics: SOUTH DAKOTACORNSOYBEANS
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