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Planting season ahead

Conditions vary throughout region

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Wet soil conditions may delay planting in some areas around Minot. However, much drying out could yet occur in April as soil temperatures begin to warm.

The upcoming planting season is very much on the minds of area farmers, but it remains several days or weeks away. Both soil moisture condition and temperatures will determine how soon planting will actually get underway.

Some areas are quite wet and several days of drying out is needed before heavy equipment can get into the fields. In other places moisture conditions are much better.

Dan Sem, general manager of Dakota Agronomy Partners in Minot, says the Minot area is somewhat wet and warmer weather is needed in the days ahead to dry the ground and warm the soil.

“We’re a ways out from planting. We need those soil temperatures up,” said Sem. “Moisture keeps those soil temps down.”

To the east of Minot, in the Harvey area, the amount of moisture in the ground is being closely monitored as well.

“We’re very wet here,” said Joel Schimke, manager Harvey Farmers Elevator. “To the west of us it is a little better and south of us it continues to get worse. We need some hot, dry weather to get the soil temperatures warmed up.”

Schmike said the surface appeared to be muddy and wet in many areas but the ground underneath was “pretty well froze.”

To the west of Minot the early line on planting conditions is pretty favorable. Dan Mostad, manager of Berthold Farmers Elevators, called the moisture in area fields “better than most places in the state.”

“Maybe we’re three to four weeks out if we continue to have dry weather in April,” said Mostad. “The top is still pretty wet around Berthold but it gets more dry near Mohall.”

The Tolley area entered last fall with very wet soils. While some drying occurred during the early spring there was also a recent set-back.

“It was looking pretty good then we got six or seven inches of April snow and it soaked everything up,” said Carl Zeltinger, manager, Renville Elevator Company. “And the frost isn’t even out of the ground yet.”

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