Rainy weather hasn’t hindered farming in area
By Nick Longworth
“Rain, rain, go away,” is not something you’ll likely hear any Hubbard County farmers say.
The rainy weather of this spring and early summer has caused concerns of river flooding throughout the state of Minnesota as well as the Fargo-Moorhead area.
But here in the Hubbard County area, County Executive Director of the Wadena and Hubbard County Farm Service Agency Mike Stevens says the rain can be a blessing.
“When the rest of the state floods, our crops in Hubbard thrive. Our sandy soils can handle this kind of moisture and you may have noticed that the corn has been knee high now for about a week or two. Potatoes, soybeans, edible beans and small grains are thriving in these conditions,” said Stevens, whose office handles all of the Federal Farm Commodity Programs and Federal Farm Loan Programs of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Farmers have been able to save some dollars by not running the irrigators. If you have seen an irrigator running this year, it was most likely to move the nitrogen from the surface application level to the root level. Otherwise there hasn’t been a need to run them due to the extensive rain we have had.”
It’s not all positive though. Excessive rainfall can also be a bit of a mixed blessing, Stevens says.
“The rain that is producing our excellent crops this year is also inhibiting the cutting and bailing of hay for our livestock and dairy producers. They will get it cut and put up, but it will be a more lengthy process this year,” Stevens said.
“Another problem that the steady rain creates is the lack of dry days to get into the fields to fertilize the crops and spray for weeds. They will get it done, but it will take more time this year.”
Sun tan and sunny days aside, Stevens said steady rain all summer long would be the best case scenario.
“Let’s hope that the rain doesn’t turn off in the third week in July this year as it has for the last two years,” Stevens said.
“Those years we had good crop conditions – as they are now – but the rain turned off and damaged crop yields in the county. As long as the rain doesn’t turn off in July again, we should be in for an excellent year in Hubbard County.”