Posted 9/01/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
Farmers are still storing up grain as commodity prices remain low, but many of them are reporting a good harvest.
“I’ve heard from farmers that the yields are doing quite well,” said Danielle Steinhoff, Williams County Extension Agent.
The late rains can be a problem for durum farmers, as the rain will “bleach” the protein out of the grain when the durum is ripe with that golden brown look.
“It almost removes the color,” Steinhoff explained.
When that happens, the quality of the crop is reduced. Some companies will mix it with higher quality grains, but the payout is still lower for the farmer.
Fortunately, a lot of the farmers were already done by the time the late rains hit.
Among those who got their harvest done before the rain is Wayne Hauge, who farms lentils, barley, and durum in the Ray area.
“That’s what happens when you work like a dog all day, every day,” Hauge said.
Hauge said he has a lot of grain in his bins. He’s moved some to dry storage, but he’s holding on to it.
“The low prices are keeping me out of the market,” he said.
While Hauge is safe from the rain, he did have a few problems along the way. He said his lentil crops were “stomped on” by some high winds earlier in the growing season.
He also said his barley yields could have been better, but the durum had a “fair” yield.
He had some difficulties with Canadian thistle, a noxious weed. It can be treated with chemicals, but if you spray a whole field, you can’t rotate that field to peas the following year. Spot spraying is fine, though.
Fortunately, he didn’t have any problems with vomitoxin, which was a significant problem last year for a lot of farmers in the area.
Steinhoff also said she hasn’t heard of any major outbreaks this year from the farmers she’s spoken to. Vomitoxin is treated with a fungicide.
Jerol Gohrick, who farms in the Lindahl Township area, said he hasn’t seen any vomitoxin on his crop.
“Vomitoxin has been very low this year. I’ve looked at my durum, and it looks pretty good,” Gohrick said.
Cool, humid days are most favorable to vomitoxin. The high daytime temperatures this month have staved off the fungus’s growth.
Gohrick grows durum, corn, and soybeans, and he said the yields are nothing to feel down about.
“It’s going pretty good, I guess,” he said.
He said the late rains were actually beneficial to his durum.
“It was a much needed rain,” Gohrick said.
He expects to come to close to 60 to 70 bushels per acre on barley.