Is Rain Ruining Crops?

Farmers are dealing with standing water and flooded fields.

What could be a nightmare for some producers could be a blessing for others.

In Richland County they’ve had up to four and a half inches of rain in the last day and a half alone.

But for one farmer we talked to, in some spots that means flooded crops.
In others it means they’ve never looked better.
Mike Langseth farms soybeans and corn in Richland County.

After this major shot of rain, some of his crops might as well be swimming.

“So one corner, probably is five, ten acres, has got water in it a foot deep,” says Langseth.

But most of these plants love what mother nature provided.

“We’ve got to shots where we’ve got four-plus inches of rain in a day, and yeah, basically crop looks as good as I’ve ever seen it,” Langseth claims.

Significant rains over a short time can often cause a crop crisis, according to North Dakota Soybean Council researcher Kendall Nichols.

Nichols adds farmers in the area, “have more fields that have beans that are underwater and hot water on the beans will cause them to die more quickly.”

Root crops like soybeans could suffer more than sturdier ones, like corn.

“The corn is big and is using a lot of water and so it’s not like getting heavy rains in the spring now because we’re using more water”, says NDSU Agronomist Joel Ransom.

Agriculture is a fickle thing.

The rain can affect fields that are almost next to each other in very different ways.

Langseth adds, “Four miles away from the field where we have under ten inches of water, the ditches are dry.”

Langseth says he lucked out.

The ground was dry enough to soak up more than four inches of rain.

“Nothing widespread,” he explains. :Just a couple of real spotty cases of some root rot on compacted areas.”

But he knows farmers in other parts of the region are much more likely to be struggling.

Langseth says, “I know north of Fargo they’ve been too wet all summer, and it’s just a lot of water.”

Farmers say ideally crops would get about an inch of rain per week until harvest time in late September, with plenty of sun in between.

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