Drought relief may have come too late for farmers, crop insurance agent says

Randy Martinson, the president of Martinson Ag Risk Management, said while crops like soybeans and corn are thriving, others like wheat and barley may be too late to save.

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FARGO — Rain at the end of last week, plus some this week, has been a big help for crops like soybeans and corn, as farmers continue to grow them.

North Dakota's drought monitor reflects that, as it's showing a slight improvement from one week ago, with 12% of the state classified as being in "exceptional drought" conditions as of Thursday, July 8, compared to 18% the previous week.

Randy Martinson, president of Martinson Ag Risk Management, said having enough moisture in the topsoil has kept corn and soybeans mostly on track.

"Two, three weeks ago, we were looking at corn that was probably below knee-high," he said. "But now, all of a sudden, we're looking at it being close to six feet tall."

Despite some areas showing signs of recovery, Martinson said those growing wheat and other small grains have little chance to save them from drying out, and bringing a large yield.


He added some farmers have inquired with him about converting the dry wheat into cattle feed.

Even though grain farmers will likely bring in a below-average yield this year, Martinson said they shouldn't lose hope yet.

"For the most part, (farmers) just have to be patient and wait, and hopefully Mother Nature will help us out here a little bit," he said.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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