The view from the Mueller Farms' grain cart tractor and the combine cab tells the story.
These photos were taken near Gardner, N.D., in the Red River Valley.
Mueller Farms, Hillsboro, N.D., started combining corn March 17 after a 10-day stretch of warm, rainy weather reduced the snow pack in fields. Brothers David and Brian and their father Richard have approximately 1,000 acres of corn to combine.
"The corn is pretty good shape," David said, as he carefully guided the combine through the snow and water on Wednesday. The corn moisture content had been 30% last fall when they had to quit harvesting. It's now 18%.
The field was in pretty good shape, too, though David couldn't drive just anywhere. Snow still packed the end rows and low spots were filled with water. But frost in the soil was holding up the combine and cart well enough.
"We'll keep going until we start making ruts," David said.
The weather has turned colder, improving field conditions. David says if they can if the weather cooperates for a week, they should be able to finish combining corn.
The Muellers hope to plant soybeans in these fields this spring. They don't plan to do any tillage. They'll burn the residue and plant beans between the old corn rows.
"We can plant soybeans until about June 1, so we have some time," David said.