It's the same old story for area farmers as harvest rolls around once again wet conditions are keeping them out of the fields.
Kayla Hoffman, a grain merchandiser at SunPrairie Grain in Minot, said overall harvest seems to be going pretty well, although it's still early yet.
"We've seen a lot of winter wheat, a little bit of barley, a few loads of spring wheat," Hoffman said. "Some guys yesterday (Tuesday) got delayed up north because they got a lot of rain. I was told three inches in some areas. That kind of put a delay on some spots, but we're getting some loads in today so it's coming along."
She said all that's needed is a little hot, dry weather and they would be good to go.
The first load of winter wheat came in July 26, while the first load of spring wheat showed up Aug. 6.
On average, Hoffman said harvest seems to be about on track. She noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said harvest is a little behind schedule but when compared to last year, which was also wet, it's actually doing better.
As far as quality goes, Hoffman said protein in winter wheat has been all over the board, but it has been averaging 11.5 percent, which is right where they want to be.
"Other than that we haven't really seen a whole lot of damage or anything. The test weights are good, so overall it looks very good," she said. "As far as the spring wheat it's still very early, but we're probably averaging in the 13.5 to 14 (percent) range. Test weights are good, no damage to speak of really, so it doesn't look like we'll have too many issues."
So far disease hasn't been an issue, and Hoffman doesn't think it will be going forward.
"We haven't had the wet, foggy mornings that we had every morning last year, so that's helped out a lot, too," she said.
Hoffman said wet conditions generally aren't good for protein, but she thinks a lot of producers took steps to help things along with fertilizers. That combined with some heat stress during the warm patches have helped boost protein levels.
"I think we're gonna have big crops, there's gonna be a lot of bushels out there, high production," Hoffman said. "It just looks really good, so hopefully we can just keep our protein levels up there and it looks like that may be the case. I know that's what a lot of these guys are hoping for."
Dan Folske, Burke Count Extension agent, said so far it has primarily been field peas coming off the fields.
"I did stop in at SunPrairie Grain elevator yesterday (Tuesday) and they told me that somebody had brought in a sample of durum the day before," Folske said. "The durum sample was light test weight, but looked good."
As far as the pea harvest so far, Folske has heard mixed results that include some good yields as well as some disappointing ones.
While the last two years have both been wet, Folske said more warm temperatures this summer has helped keep the harvest ahead of last year's pace. He did note the harvest could be rather spread out due to wet spring weather hampering seeding.
Although Folske believes it's too early to tell how the harvest will go this year, his gut feeling tells him results will be mixed.
"There are fields that look really good across the county, and there are fields that look really poor because of poor emergence, planting into too-wet conditions or hail, drowned out from excessive rain," he said. "It's really mixed. You can walk across the road from a field that looks fantastic to a field that looks very poor."
Scott Knoke, Benson County Extension agent, said moisture issues including rainfall and high humidity have slowed things down a bit. Although he has no hard figures as of yet, he guesses 10 to 20 percent of the barley is probably harvested at this point, along with 30 to 40 percent of the winter wheat, while the spring wheat harvest is just getting started. Overall, Knoke said, harvest actually seems a little ahead of schedule on average.
"There was some crop seeded in April and then the winter wheat, those are the ones that have been able to come off," he said. "And then we had kind of a bit of a rain delay and then some stuff was seeded after that, so there's a long, long way to go."
Even though this summer has been ahead of the five-year average for heat units accumulated which makes for nice growing weather disease is still a concern for Knoke.
"There is some disease concern with some white mold in some dry edible beans," Knoke said.
"We've been so awfully wet and humid it's been ideal for disease to crop up," he said. "But so far the quality in the wheat and the small grains, I haven't heard any real disasters or bad things with scab and things like that.
"But it's still pretty early," he said. "Some of the later crop possibly may show some disease, but I guess time will tell. We've had some instances of some wheat streak mosaic that has affected some fields a fair amount.
"Just bring on some sunshine and get this humidity out of here and they'll keep 'er going," he said.