PAGE, N.D. – Varying amounts of precipitation fell throughout the state on July 5-6 as cooler temperatures settled in for a couple days. Some farmers across the state got some much needed moisture to help their drought-stressed crops, but others weren’t so fortunate.
“I wish we got something more out of it as it passed through,” said Preston Burchill. “I think we only got like 5 one-hundredths of an inch. That’s about it.”
Even the front that moved through the area the week prior seemed to miss the Burchill fields.
“We only got maybe like a tenth of an inch out of that one. Nothing notable,” he said.
Despite persistent drought conditions and rain events seemingly avoiding his fields on purpose, Preston says the little bit of moisture they have received has helped the crops.
“They’re finally starting to take off somewhat,” he said. “The corn looks pretty good and the beans are slowly getting there.”
He’s hopeful for a good crop this fall, especially for his corn acres.
“Hopefully we’re going to have a pretty good one on the corn,” he said. “I’m guessing we’ll just have an average bean crop this year. Soybeans are kind of late bloomers. Corn needs that moisture now, but for beans it’s more around August when you make your bushels.”
Preston and his father, Duane, wrapped up spraying their crops since our last visit, and so far it seems like weeds won’t be too much of an issue this season.
“We’ve got pretty good control right now for the most part,” Preston said. “I just hope we don’t have to spray for any bugs.”
One of Preston’s main concerns this growing season is the possibility of grasshoppers moving in, especially if conditions remain dry.
“It seems that in dry years that grasshoppers magically just wander in and become a big nuisance, especially on the beans,” he said. “Hopefully we don’t have to worry about that.”
The Burchills purchased a 30-foot camper earlier this year, and they were able to take it out for a trip over the Fourth of July weekend, even if it was only a short trip.
“We went out to Lake Ashtabula. It’s literally only 7 miles from us, but we were able to go tubing and water skiing and stuff. It was fun,” he said.
Preston’s wife, Beth, is off for the summer from teaching. In between entertaining their two children, Beth has enjoyed working on the garden, and she also helped her mom sell fireworks this year prior to the Fourth of July.
Preston says they lit off some fireworks this year, but he’s thankful he didn’t have to be the one in charge of that this year.
“It was nice not having to be the one in charge of that, especially when something goes haywire,” he said. “I’m notorious for messing that stuff up.”