Mark Huso, Special to Agweek
The 2019 cereals harvest is fast deserving of this headline. When wheat and barley harvest started in early August, reports were coming in quite favorable. Good yield and quality. Barley acres were some of the first to come off and this years' crop was primarily two-row barley.
It has been another growing season filled with sunshine and rain, drought and wind, insects and weeds, but now we can start to see some golden cereal crops in the region and begin to buckle your harvest seatbelt and take on the coming challenges of the next three months.
It feels the same, only wetter and colder. A year ago this time, I wrote about the current situation in our local region or northeast North Dakota. It was the last week of April and some farmers had some cereals in the ground and others were able to have fertilizer applied. A year later, here we are the first week of May and the results are similar, only as stated before, it is wetter and colder.
It's March, and rather than the snow starting to recede, there seems to be continuous chances of snow in the forecast. But what a difference a day makes. On the first day above freezing in over 60 days and it felt like a fantastic heat wave. The snow was melting and the streets in Lakota, N.D., are slushy and it shows the power of the sun (and lack thereof) is truly all the difference. I'm hopeful the last half of March will start to raise optimism and the thaw can begin as we look for April to turn up the pace toward the planting date even more.
Throughout harvest all farmers have something in common: radio time. It's similar for agronomists, as we are in vehicles most of the day soil sampling or still field scouting. I'm sure some operators have new technology inside the cab allowing Bluetooth to play favorite songs or music genres from their phone. I still think for many of us, though, it is mostly AM talk radio.