Northwest ND (08/26/21)
A lot of harvest progress has been made in the last two weeks in the Northwest. Before the cold front came in late last week, high temperatures were in the 80s and 90s and close to 100 for a few days. But on August 18th, highs were only in the 60s in most places and scattered showers started. Before the rain, many acres of pea, lentil, spring wheat, and durum were harvested. Rainfall totals from Thursday through Sunday ranged from 0.5”-1.25” across the region. Thankfully, the rain was gentle and soaked in most places. The rain has stopped harvest for the moment, but it will likely pick up again Tuesday and Wednesday as farmers try to beat the rain predicted later in the week.
For spring wheat yields, I’ve heard everything from single digits and fields not worth harvesting and left to stand to catch snow for spring wheat in McKenzie County and southern Williams to mid 20s-35 bu per acre in northern and eastern Williams Co. For those farmers harvesting 30-35 bushels, it is a nice surprise given the severity of the drought but also shows the value of no-till practices.
Looking at this week’s forecast, temperatures are predicted to be a lot cooler than the past two weeks with highs below normal for August, only in the low to mid 70s. There are chances of scattered thunderstorms the 26th and 27th. The rain and cool weather will delay dry down of late planted small grain fields, but should be beneficial for soybean still filling pods.
Extension Agronomist Small Grains and Corn
NDSU Williston Research Extension Center