ELGIN, N.D. – Planting is finally starting for many producers who farm and ranch along the south central/southwestern region of the state, including the Laub family. Clarence Laub III farms with his parents, Clarence Jr. and Sandra Laub, and the young producer will be giving reports on the family operation this growing season.

Seeding is starting late this year for everyone in the area due to the weather, which seems to warm up for a couple days, then gets cold and rainy for a few days. In fact, the cold ground has been slow to warm up, but producers need to get their crops seeded.

“It’s been cool and drizzly today (May 11) so we’re not in the field today. The temperatures have been mostly in the 40s-50s, with nights still cool in the 30s,” Clarence said. “It did frost one night last week when it got down to 24 degrees. The water iced over, but no seedlings were up yet, so we didn’t have to worry about frost damage.”

Clarence and his dad, Clarence, Jr., were able to start seeding last Thursday, May 2, with their oat/cover crop mix.

Clarence Jr. operated the John Deere tractor pulling the Case IH Concorde drill, seed cart with oats/cover crop in one compartment and 9-42-9-4 fertilizer in the other, and the anhydrous tank. 

The cover crop mix is a full-season mix for soil health and for the cattle, which includes oats, turnips, radishes and soybeans.

Clarence went ahead of his dad in the sprayer, burning down acres with glyphosate so there would be a clean field to seed in.

The cover crop was seeded on last year’s sunflower, wheat and alfalfa fields.

“We like to rotate out alfalfa every few years. I sprayed the field last fall and sprayed it once again this spring, to kill alfalfa and grass,” he said.

In addition to spraying, Clarence has been the runner for his Dad, bringing out seed and fertilizer between spraying and getting other equipment ready.

They finished seeding the cover crop mix and have started planting hard red spring wheat.

“We have extra hands during planting Hal (Harold Bless) and Dad conduct all the small grain seeding, while Chris (Fischer) and I will plant the row crops,” Clarence said.

With the cool weather, they had to stop seeding for a day, but hope to get back in the fields next week. The forecast is for warmer temperatures next week, so they should be able to finish planting their wheat.

 “We are hoping to get the corn in before a rain event forecasted May 17-19. We have been waiting to plant corn in light of the cold weather,” he said. Corn doesn’t like cold weather and can have poor germination or even corkscrew under the soil if the ground is too cold, so they will keep their eye on that.

After that, the Laubs will start branding calves, then seed sunflowers and hemp, and there is extra time to get that in.

“We’re definitely staying busy this week,” Clarence said.