WISHEK, N.D. – As summer continues to approach fall, it’s almost time for spring wheat harvest in south central North Dakota. The Bettenhausens have been busy preparing for harvest and making sure everything is ready to go.
“We’re getting all the combines, headers and trucks ready,” said Adam Bettenhausen on Aug. 5. “We’ve got a couple headers to work on yet, but other than that, we’re making a lot of headway.”
Adam was hoping to possibly get started harvesting on Monday, Aug. 12, but he wasn’t sure if that would be the exact start day.
“We’re going to see what the forecast is for the rest of the week,” he said. “We’ve been relatively cool for August. The wheat looks close to ready from the road, but if you walk in, there’s still a lot of green kernels in there.”
He estimates they’ll pull in 50-70 bushel wheat this year, but Adam is hoping to get closer to that 70 bushel range to meet their farm average.
It might have been a slow start to the year, but right now the rest of the crops continue to look “pretty dang good.”
“The corn looks good and the soybeans are loading up with pods,” Adam said. “We’ve had great weather. We keep catching, not big rains, but a little bit of rain here and there. We’ve got some pretty good subsoil moisture, and if the weather holds out, the soybeans should do well.”
While their wheat, corn, soybeans, sunflowers and canola are looking good through the beginning portions of August, the crops are still a little behind where Adam would like them to be.
“We are late for where I’d like to be, as far as development,” he said. “With the weather we’ve been getting, it’s not a huge surprise things look good. We’ve been getting rain and that’s what we’re usually needing around here – more moisture. We’re getting plenty of it this year. Things don’t look like they’re not getting enough moisture for once.
“Anytime you can get all the rain a plant wants, good things are going to happen. My only concern is that plants aren’t rooted as deeply as they should be, which could lead to standability issues or sudden drought stress if the rain shuts off,” he added.
Outside of prepping for wheat harvest, Adam says they still have a little bit of corn to clean out of a bin, some other small projects going on around the yard and they still are busy making hay.
“We’ve got a lot of hay put up over the last two weeks, but we’ve got a lot of our hay ground in some lower areas that we can’t normally crop. That low ground is still pretty wet, which makes it tough to get made. We’re going to pick away at it slowly through most of the fall until we can get enough of it to put up,” Adam concluded.