And the rains came, but not too much. Light rain began falling on the evening of Saturday, April 18, and continued on into Sunday morning. According to reports heard around The Round Table on Sunday morning, amounts varied from .33 to .5 inch in Rutland, with Jim Lunneborg’s gauge showing a “strong half inch,” at his farm in Shuman Township. Roger Pearson’s rain gauge on the east side of Rutland indicated half an inch, he reported, although he disclosed that the measurement may not be 100% accurate because there was also a small, dry twig that had been blown into the gauge that may have soaked up some of the precipitation before Roger checked the amount on Sunday morning. Paul Anderson’s rain gauge, a block west of Roger’s, showed only .33 of an inch, and Jesse Brakke reported that his electronic, computer monitored, continuous flow gauge recorded about .3 of an inch at his farmstead up along Highway #11, between Rutland and Cayuga. More rain is needed, and soon, but last weekend’s rainfall was a welcome reminder that Mother Nature has not forgotten how to make it happen.
Mother Nature has not forgotten how to make water freeze, either, and proved the point on the mornings of Tuesday & Wednesday, April 21 & 22, by dropping the temperature into the 20’s in the Rutland area. Many trees had already begun to leaf out, and it is likely that they will have to make a second effort at that activity when warm weather returns with the plumber, sometime next week.
Dry conditions, low corn prices and high input costs are making some changes in cropping practices this spring. When all is said and done, it is very likely that Spring Wheat acres will be up, considerably, from the average of recent years, and that Sargent County will experience a sizable decrease in the number of acres planted to corn. Andrew, Jerry & Bill Woytassek report that they have been planting wheat this spring, for the first time in a decade. Reports have been circulating at The Round Table to the effect that local seed dealers have sold considerably more wheat seed this spring than in recent years, and are running short. The old saying is, “The cure for low prices is low prices,” meaning that when there is no profit to be made by growing a certain commodity, farmers will decrease the acreage devoted to that commodity, produce less, diminish the supply and, eventually, strengthen the price again. Right now, there is not much profit to be seen in any crop, but corn is the weakest and will likely see the largest decrease in the number of acres planted. Read More