Where's the Rain? Valley Crops Take a Beating in the Heat - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Where's the Rain? Valley Crops Take a Beating in the Heat

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  Another blistering, hot sun rises over a cornfield in the northern valley. Too much heat and not enough rain has put many crops around our region at the critical stage.

Gary Wagner, Farmer: "We have cracks. We took a tape measure and dropped it down 6, 8, 10, 12, 14-inches before it stops. There's big cracks in the ground. So, a 2 to 3-inch rain, we wouldn't notice it."

  Wagner says the soybean crop is already taking a hit.  It's beginning to wilt and that means fewer and smaller pods with less soybeans.

Gary Wagner, Farmer: "We get rain now it won't do any good. Our later maturing beans, maybe if we get rain by midweek or late week, we could maybe see some benefit out of that. But, it's almost getting too late for those too."

  Ag experts say during a good year, soybeans can yield 50-bushels an acre in this area.

Tom Conati, Agrimax: "Right now I'm guesstimating, 30 to 35 bushels."

  Conati says corn is also beginning to suffer. But, it can grow a deeper root once things begin to dry up. However, corn, soybeans and sugar beets… everything… could use a big drink of water."

  And that holds true for one of the valley's largest cash crops.

Tom Conati: "Sugar beets… they look decent, but they're hurting also."

  The latest drought map from the Weather Service shows areas that are now abnormally dry in yellow. The white areas are average.

  It's all left a big part of our region looking for a little help from Mother Nature, in the form rain.

  One bright spot in all this is the wheat crop. Much of it has already been harvested and came in at near average yields, since it matured before the dry weather hit.

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