It’s day 8, it’s July 3rd. We’re starting our U.S. Crop Tour in North Dakota and we’re on 101 Street West, just a mile north of the South Dakota border. Just to give you some quick agriculture stats and facts about North Dakota: soys rank number 10, corn is 15th – it’s not a big corn and soybean state. In fact, canola here represents about 90% of the acres in the United States, about 1.7 million. Spring wheat – 5.6. Winter wheat – 2.5. So, total acres of wheat are about 8.5-9 depending on the year. 5-6 million soys and 3-4 million corn. Annual precipitation in the south where we’re at, around 13 inches. Further north you can get as much as 20 inches a year, and in fact in the last couple of months, North Dakota has gotten 13 inches just in the last two months just like some of the other Midwest states we’ve travelled through. Average farm size is about 1,238 acres and 50% of the spring wheat is grown in North Dakota. Again, 90% of canola is here as well. Now, on the last crop progress report, the USDA said that the corn – actually the corn and the beans look quite good. Corn good to excellent at 74%. It has dropped 6% in the last month. Soy is at 78% - that’s down 6%, but still relatively healthy. And then spring wheat, we’re sitting at around 80%. Here’s the spring wheat field, and it looks good. It’s gotten a lot of moisture, but the local farmers are saying that the only thing that moisture may do is drown out the crops but I’m not noticing that here and it’s still a ways from being harvested, but it looks like we should get some pretty good yields out of these fields. We’ll continue to move into further north of North Dakota and we’ll continue to show you some more photos and videos. As we’ve travelled down here though, that moisture is doing some damage again to both corn and soybean fields. We’ve seen a lot of drowned out fields, and a lot of ponding.
We’re travelling north on highway 83, we’re going toward Bismarck, North Dakota. We’re in front of a soybean field and we continue to see the standing water in a lot of the bean fields, or even corn fields. I didn’t expect this in North Dakota, but it was very wet in the south. They got a lot of rain through May and June. Looks like that same situation has occurred as we’ve travelled further north into North Dakota.
We’re travelling north on highway 83 near Sterling, North Dakota. We’re in front of a good looking canola field. There are some drowned out spots and variability due to too much moisture, but looking good.
It’s day 8, July 3rd. We’re going to conclude our tour in North Dakota. We’re travelling east on 81 toward Grand Forks, and North Dakota was very wet in the south. As you travelled toward the central and then the north, it got really dry. I’ve got to think that those crops and the crops in the south remind me of Indiana – just a lot of drowned out areas, ponds, beans that were replanted, we saw rivers and lakes everywhere. They got too much rain in the month of May and June. As you travelled further to the north, it got a little drier. The crops in the south are probably going to be below average but the crops in the north were drier and they looked really good. The wheat, the canola, the barley looked awesome. The crops in the north are probably going to offset any reduction in yield in the south. At the end of the day, I’m going to rate North Dakota as an average crop overall. Probably rank it just above South Dakota at number 4. We’ll rank all of the states at the end with my end of crop tour video summary available on July 14th. There’s a haze in the horizon. It’s been like that for some time now because of the wildfires in Western Canada. It’s probably lowering some of those growing degree days. It was hot in the north, but it was cooler in the south. That could impact the crops. It’s early – these crops typically are made in July and August. They’ll need some further rain here, particularly in the north but it depends on the soil, they can do without. Typically corn was either knee high, which is typical of North Dakota. Some in the north was actually chest high, which was a little bit ahead of schedule.
I want to thank my sponsors: Pride Seeds, Tasco Dome, Penta Tillage and South West Ag Partners.