Here we go, off and running as harvest quickly approaches. Producers are busy getting combines, trucks, and grain carts serviced and ready to harvest that first field. We’ve all been there… ten minutes later head back home and wait a few more days. It happens every year!
I know by time you read this issue of The Grain Mill, we should all be busy harvesting, and some might be finished with early crops like peas and barley. Everyone is anxious to get into the fields to see how the yields will be after our crazy wet spring. While most of us need to thank God and Mother Nature for the unforgettable spring moisture, some areas of southwest North Dakota haven’t seen decent rain since May. Those rains were badly needed to replenish farmers dry fields and save livestock producers from needing to liquidate their herds again this year. Most pastures came back better than we could imagine and hopefully everyone was able to put up enough good hay to get through another winter.
June did pack a punch for some producers with the unfortunate “summer snowstorms”. It sure looked like snow as hail drifted and piled up along roadways, tree rows, and buildings, as well as fields. I’m sorry for those that got hit. It sure puts a knot in your stomach after all the hard work to get fields planted, especially with the high input costs this year. As farmers and ranchers, it seems we rarely have a year without challenges and this year was no exception.
As the days got longer, spraying was in full gear with large pest problems we hoped we wouldn’t have this year. Grasshoppers moving out of tall grass to the ends of fields and then into the fields for their main course. I don’t get it… Grandpa always said if it’s a late, wet spring, those pesky buggers wouldn’t survive! These days they found a way to stay warm and dry and become a huge problem. There are more little hoppers than most of us have seen since the 80’s. Increased spraying was needed and SWG worked hard to get the spray and chemical products producers need. Thank you to Delane, and the management team, for serving our needs to get fields planted, sprayed, and now ready for harvesting.
You will notice that some SWG locations have more room for your crop storage. Brian worked hard to get rail cars lined up for August and September to move more grain. SWG is ready to get your crops to town. The Lemmon location is finishing up a new dryer storage facility to handle more grain, especially for the area corn producers.
I want to wish everyone a great harvest! Remember, we are all going to have “those days” when you wonder what can go wrong next. Slow down and take a moment to realize you are not in the game alone. Let’s all work together, do what we are good at, overcome problems that are going to come up, and get the grain in the bins.
Stay safe, healthy, and grateful… and take care of each other!
Shane Sickler, SWG Producer Board President