Our harvest in Aneta, ND finished before Thanksgiving this year. For eastern North Dakota, we’re fortunate. As I write, USDA reports that 40% of the corn in ND is still in the field. At this point, most will likely be harvested this spring. Not fun for anybody.
For farmers in our area, 2009 will go down as “challenging.” Late, wet spring, cool summer with little rain; beautiful September; cold and snow in October with little harvest or field work; a warm, sunny November allowed most of the soybean and edible beans to be harvested. Corn was late with high moisture and low-test weights. December has been below zero with wind and snow.
What did we learn? Wheat, barley, and canola do well with a cool, relatively dry growing season. Edible beans were a challenge but were at least average. Corn and soybeans weren’t so good.
2010 North Dakota Farming Outlook – where is the profit potential?
Just heard a central ND farm economist on the radio this morning saying that malting barley and soybeans look like the best potential for profit in 2010. Wheat is breakeven at best. Canola should be above break-even. Corn can be profitable if you can grow at least a 120-bushel per acre crop. Dry beans should also show profit potential.
So, just about everything we can grow other than wheat next year will have reasonable profit potential. Guess which of the above crops will get the most acres in ND next year? Wheat by a large margin. A good part of wheat winning the acres has to do with rainfall. Approximately two-thirds of the landmass in ND doesn’t get enough rain or heat to raise, corn, soybeans, or edible beans. Wheat is the predominant crop in these areas because it will grow in places that some of these other crops won’t.
Where farmers have choices, wheat will continue to lose acres. Despite its challenges, corn will continue to gain acres. Soybeans could have their biggest year ever in ND next year.
Stay tuned; life on the farm these days is never boring. Find out what’s happening at Griggs Dakota – Farm News from our Field blog.