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Serving: West

High Times In Central Dakota

Wheat was a disappointment, but corn and soybeans are looking good.

Farmers I talked to this week on a trip through central North Dakota and South Dakota – from Wimbledon and Windsor, N.D., to Selby, Gettysburg and Mitchell, S.D. -- were in a pretty good mood.

Winter wheat and spring wheat yields were lower than average, “but it wasn’t a train wreck,” said one of guys working the unloading pit at a big elevator outside on Bowdle, S.D.

Corn was looking good.

“We could be looking at our best corn crop ever,” said Mark Stiegelmeier, Selby, S.D.

His sons kid him that he says that every year.

But it is probably true. Their yields keep going up thanks to improved hybrids, continued timely rains and better management.

Gettysburg, S.D., Ralph Halzworth and his son, Ted, say their soybeans look even better than their corn. They might even see some 60 bushel beans this year.

Shannon, Ben and Larry Klumb, Mitchell, S.D., think if they get a rain in the next few days they’ll have a shot at another high soybean yield. They won the SD Soybean Yield contest last year with an 86 bushel per acre entry

“I might have been a once in a lifetime yield,” Larry says.

But rain is in the forecast for them.

The market has everyone smiling, too. Corn at $7.50 and soybeans around $13 going into harvest is encouraging.

“A lot of the guys I went to school with are back farming,” says Ted, 23.

He says they see an opportunity to make a good living doing something they love.

“What could be better?” he asks.

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