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The Rooster Crows – November 21, 2014

Cold, wind, snow and ice- other than those attributes, the weather has been pretty nice around here.  Despite arctic conditions, corn harvest continues.  Pherson Custom Combining still had Gleaners in action in the Oakes area last weekend, and, as of Monday, November 17, Wyum Brothers, Steve, Mike & Mark, reported they had less than 1,000 acres to go and, with 3 combines in operation could have the 2014 harvest behind them by the 24th.  Reports of corn yields in this area have been uniformly good to excellent, with a few outstandings.  On the Mike & Nell Walstead farm in Rutland Township, the yield monitors showed that the areas that usually perform the poorest, the hilltops, had the best corn yields this year, and the areas that usually perform the best, draws and low spots, had the worst.  According to The Assembled Wise Men, the late, wet Spring, cool Summer and the early onset of winter-like conditions were the factors that produced these unusual results.  The price of corn is this year’s down side, and the former king of crops on the northern plains, hard red spring wheat, a crop that produced good yields, was harvested early and is selling for a good price this Fall, may make a bid to reclaim part of its former glory when planters roll out in the Spring of 2015.

Paul Anderson was in Fargo on the evening of Friday, November 14, for a wine tasting at Bear Creek Vineyard & Winery.  The wine served at the event had been made from grape varieties recently developed at NDSU.  The new varieties are the result of several years of work to develop vines with the characteristics to withstand the seasonal extremes in North Dakota’s climate, and still produce grapes capable of making good wine.  Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, a professor in the Plant Sciences Department at NDSU, and Tom Ploucher, a Minnesota grape variety developer, have been working for several years, in cooperation with the North Dakota Grape & Wine Association, to develop new, winter hardy, grape varieties and build up the grape and wine industry in this State.  Paul reports that some of the new varieties made good wine, and some are just winter hardy.  Paul has a small vineyard at his home in Rutland that produced good quantities of grapes this year, he reports, and an interest in a larger vineyard, consisting of 300 vines that he and local farmer Kurt Breker planted on 1 acre south of Cayuga, that should produce its first crop of grapes in 2015.

Richard Bradbury reports that Paul Kiefer of Cayuga and Rutland native Chris Nundahl, now a resident of Egan MN, stopped by his home here for a visit on Saturday, November 15.  The 2 men were just returning from a deer hunting expedition in the North Dakota Badlands which had also included Richard’s son, Curtis Bradbury of Bismarck in their party.  Curtis had bagged a 4 point mule deer buck during the opening weekend of the deer season, and Paul had bagged his good-sized 5X5 mule deer buck on the afternoon of Friday, November 14.  Curtis, Chris and Paul have been friends since school days, and have been hunting together for the past 20 years, or more.  Chris wasn’t successful in the North Dakota deer license lottery this year, but accompanied his 2 friends for the experience and the camaraderie.  Paul and Chris also returned the Jeep that Curtis had borrowed from his Dad about a month ago, while his vehicle was in the shop. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – November 14, 2014

Mother Nature shed a few tears over the election of Tuesday, November 4, but not many.  A light rain on the morning of Wednesday, November 5 left .4 of an inch of precipitation in the rain gauge at the Mark & Kathy Wyum farm northeast of Rutland.  That light rain was only a preamble, though, as 4 inches of wet, heavy snow and a temperature reading down to 15 above on Monday, November 10, along with a 30 mph wind, got the new work week off to a frigid, slippery start.  According to the weather experts, the cold weather, 15 to 20 degrees below normal across the northern plains, was caused by the largest low pressure system ever measured in the northern Pacific Ocean moving arctic air out of the Polar regions and as far south as Texas, wherever that might be.  The cold is expected to last through the week, and possibly until March or April, depending on the weather.

The members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion met at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, in the American Legion Hall.  Post Commander Larry Christensen reported that Post #215 will present a check in the amount of $2,163.00 to Service Dogs for America as a result of the pancake & sausage breakfast held on Sunday, October 19.  The Post’s next pancake & sausage breakfast/brunch is scheduled for Sunday, February 8, in the Rutland Town Hall.  By then the Ground Hog will have made his appearance, and we will know just how long we can expect this winter to last.  Ted Lee reported that the Rutland Veterans’ Memorial Committee is still looking for a suitable American Eagle for the top of the Veterans’ Memorial.  Members also discussed the American Flag Retirement Ceremony and Veterans’ Day activities planned for Tuesday, November 11.

Rev. Amy Swenson of Hector MN was a Rutland visitor on Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8.  Pastor Swenson is the fiancé of Pastor Erik Karlson who serves the Nordland and Trinity Lutheran congregations in Rutland and Havana.  Pastor Swenson graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul last May, and the Lutheran congregation at Hector is her first call.  Pastor Swenson and Pastor Karlson are planning an October 2015 wedding in St. Paul. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – November 7, 2014

Harvest of the 2014 corn crop is heading for the goal line, as dry weather has allowed combines to keep rolling non-stop.  Denny Pherson reported on Saturday, November 1, that the Pherson Custom Combining crew is nearly done harvesting corn around Rutland, and that they will soon be sending the firms Gleaners to the Havana and Oakes areas. Where several thousand acres of corn are still waiting to be cut.  Yield reports range from fair to excellent, with some fields producing average production of 180 bushels to the acre.  The fact that many country elevators are still holding large quantities of the 2013 corn crop in storage has forced some local producers to build more bins for on-farm storage.  Woytassek Farms: Bill & Mary; Jerry & Patty; and, Andrew & Katy; recently installed 4 new bins at the Bill & Mary Woytassek farmstead just east of town.  Three of the bins have a capacity of 60,000 bushels, each, and the fourth holds about 27,000 bushels.  Years ago, most country elevators didn’t have more than 40,000 bushels of storage capacity in the entire facility.  These days, most farms have 4 or 5 times that amount, and some have a lot more.  Every silver lining has its cloud, though, and 2014’s good production results are offset by the low price currently prevailing.  On the bright side, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel is at its lowest level in more than a decade.

Dressed up in costumes consisting of old military gear and uniforms, the ladies of Rutland’s American Legion Auxiliary hit the “Trick or Treat” trail on the evening of Wednesday, October 29, seeking donations to benefit the region’s homeless veterans.  Joanne Harris, one of the Auxiliary members who was out knocking on doors furnished the following report: “Just a quick note to let you know how wonderfully successful our “trick or treating” for the homeless veterans turned out!  The people of this area are so absolutely generous it blows my mind!  We received over $500.00 in cash donations, and 2-3 large (trash bag size) bags of useful clothing plus 10-12 grocery bags full of personal grooming products, food & drinks, etc.  It was almost overwhelming!  And, everyone seemed to enjoy seeing us dressed up in our military attire!”  Congratulations to the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary on a job well done. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – October 31, 2014

Mother Nature made short work of another previously predicted week of Indian Summer, bringing the pleasant interlude to an abrupt end on Monday, October 27, drawing colder air, complete with wind and some rain showers to boot, in from the Canadian hinterlands.  Tuesday brought a high temperature in the low 40’s and predictions of snow flurries as the mercury was forecast to sink below the freeze line on Tuesday night.  The onset of colder, wetter weather had local waterfowl hunters smiling, even as the brows of local farmers, working furiously to get the 2014 corn crop harvested, were furrowed with concern and frustration.  The smiles of waterfowl hunters are understandable.  Any group that gets up at 4:30 a.m. in order to sit out in a muddy blind in the midst of a drizzly rain, enduring cold and wet conditions with icicles hanging off their noses, waiting for an opportunity to expend $20.00 worth of ammunition on $2.00 worth of duck, and then, at the conclusion of a successful hunt, to spend several hours removing innards and picking feathers from their quarry, just has to feel real good when it’s finally over.  The furrowed brows of farmers, though, are much like a communicable disease, in that they are quickly spread to local bankers and farm implement dealers.  A good morning or two of duck or goose hunting, though, will have them all as smiling and happy, as the late Dennis Narum used to say, “almost as much as if they were in their right mind.”  Well, winter is coming on, after all, and we might as well learn to be happy in our shared tribulations.

Two of Rutland’s most enthusiastic country music fans, Lori McLaen and Ione Pherson, drove up to Fargo on Thursday, October 23, to attend the  Dirks Bentley concert at the Fargo Dome.  For those who may not be familiar with Mr. Bentley, he is the artist who recorded the song “Home,” which is a tribute to American military personnel serving in harm’s way around the world.  The 2 Rutland girls, and about 6,000 other fans, also enjoyed the warm-up acts of 2 more rising stars in country music, Cassidy Pope and Randy Houser.  Lori reports that she and Ione had seats directly in front of the stage, and, even though they were several rows back, the amplifiers vibrated the bleacher seats, as well as the internal organs of audience members.  Mr. Bentley is noted for his deep voice, and the booming bass had everyone in synch with the beat, whether they wanted to be or not, according to Lori.  All in all, a very enjoyable concert, even if the ride home in the early hours of the morning did make for a short night’s sleep. Read More »

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