Mandan News

Delayed planting sets back harvesting

Sunflowers, like these in Morton County, have a ways to go before they are ready to be harvested. (Ken Rogers photo)

Sunflowers, like these in Morton County, have a ways to go before they are ready to be harvested. (Ken Rogers photo)

Warmer than normal temperatures across the state last week advanced crop development — especially in row crops — in many areas, but row crops were feeling the negative effects of continued dry weather.

Jackie Buckley, Morton County Extension agent, said most crops are behind in progress, largely because planting was delayed.

She said three weeks of cool weather starting in late July also contributed to the later harvesting of small grains. Still, because of two good weeks of hot weather, “a lot of guys will finish this week,” Buckley said.

There is concern about whether corn is going to mature, Buckley said.
She explained that corn needs about 45 to 55 frost-free days after tasseling in order to reach maturity. Locally, some corn didn’t tassel until the last week of July or so, she said. Hot weather, however, will help push it toward maturity.

USDA’s National Agri-cultural Statistics Service said moisture is needed soon over much of the state to enhance crop development, although some crops may no longer benefit.

Spring wheat turning color was at 95 percent, behind last year’s 100 percent, but near the 96 percent average. Sixty percent was reported ripe, with just 28 percent harvested, well behind last year’s 94 percent harvested and 53 percent harvested average.

Sunflower blooming was at 88 percent, behind 100 percent last year and the 96 percent average. Ray flowers dry were 10 percent, well behind 64 percent last year and 30 percent average.

Statewide, the second cutting of alfalfa hay was 90 percent complete.

Pasture and range conditions were rated 3 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 51 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Stock water supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Topsoil moisture supplies declined, with 17 percent rated very short and 40 percent short. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short and 39 percent short.

Durum wheat turning color was 90 percent, behind 100 percent last year but near the 88 percent average. Ripe was 41 percent. Harvested was 12 percent, well behind last year’s 78 percent and the 34 percent average.

Oats at the ripe stage were 87 percent. Fifty percent was harvested, well behind last year’s 95 percent and 61 percent average.

Barley turning color was 99 percent. Ripe was 73 percent, harvested 36 percent, well behind last year’s 96 percent and the 67 percent average.