April Showers Helping Planting Farmers

Raindrops keep falling on our heads…but that doesn’t mean farmers are hanging theirs.

It’s not much, but this rain is the perfect storm for Ag producers.

It’s the right amount, at the right time, to maximize crop production.

The pitter patter of raindrops has been a consistent sound for Doug Medhaug, who farms just over the South Dakota border.

“We’ve got like an inch and 30/100ths now since Saturday Night,” Medhaug says.

He’s in Breckenridge, where they’ve gotten half an inch in the last day, getting supplies, so he can get out in the field.

“Soon as we can,” he adds. “As soon as it dries out now, yup.”

He’s not in a hurry.

Planting season has barely started.

Only one percent of corn is planted in North Dakota. But the water is worth the wait.

“Puts a stop to all the progress that’s being made, but it’s definitely a benefit,” says Tony Kramer with RDO Equipment.

It’s not just how much rain we’re getting, it’s how fast that rain is coming.

This slow and steady drizzle we’ve been experiencing is better for farmers because more of the water stays in the fields to help crops grow.

Kramer explains, “Because when it’s a big heavy downpour all we get is a lot of runoff and the ground does not get that opportunity to absorb that moisture.”

The rain is even more welcomed after a long–lasting dry spell in the valley.

“We’ve been dry all winter,” Medhaug laments. “We haven’t had any snow, hardly, so we needed it. We were dry all last summer too so we needed…we needed this rain.”

A well–timed shower like this could change the trajectory of this year’s harvest.

Farmers say that crops that get a good start usually end up bringing in a bigger yield in the fall.

The rain is a big help right now, but if it continues and we get another inch or more, these farmers say it could start damaging crops that have already been planted.

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