Evan Brandt

Evan Brandt helps load the planter 2020.

ADA, Minn. – Danny Brandt was prepping equipment for planting wheat when he got a phone call from the co-op.

Could he help pull out a fertilizer floater stuck in one of his fields?

It took a couple of hours to get the rig out – the soil conditions looked deceptively dry with cracks on the soil surface.

“We’re still saturated,” Danny said on May 11. “It is borderline frustrating. I was talking to a good friend, and he is finding the same thing, too.”

Fields that would normally be dry were wet, and vice versa. All that Danny could figure was that water from saturated soils was moving to the west from the eastern bank of the Red River Valley.

He reported back on April 28 that about one-third of the wheat and one-fourth of his sugarbeets were planted.

As of May 11, the Brandts had about 400 acres of wheat left to plant and half of the sugarbeets. Planting had slowed down as early morning temperatures were 27 degrees on May 8, 25 degrees on May 11, and 26 degrees on May 12.

Danny scouted his fields on May 12 with his American Crystal Sugar field man.

“We didn’t see any damage,” he said. “We staked a few spots (put a flag, count 10 plants, put another flag) and we’ll give them a few day to see what changes.”

Some of the corn was planted when afternoon air temperatures were in the 70s, but then the soil temps cooled off with a rain/snow mix falling on May 9.

Danny decided to hold off on planting more corn until the soil warmed back up.

“I worry about putting corn seed into the cold ground initially,” he said.

Planting will continue for a while, and Danny will bring his and Rachel’s kids along for the ride. Hannah, 12, Evan, 10, and Gus, 5, all spend a lot of time with Danny, as it is a priority for their family to learn about farming.

Danny encourages everybody to take a look at his Facebook page where Evan posts videos. They talk about running the equipment and what they see as they drive along.

“It’s just basically us goofing off,” he said. “We are just having a good time out in the field just being together and showing everybody we can work and have fun at the same time.”

Evan’s 4-H gilt farrowed a litter on May 13. Cute little piglets are now posted on Facebook for individuals who like to see new litters.

The Brandt family was disappointed when the Norman County Fair and the Polk County Fair were recently postponed until 2021. The North Dakota State Fair was also cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another set-back was Hannah’s sixth grade trip to the Minnesota State Capitol was also cancelled, Danny said. As a consolation, Danny mentioned that he hadn’t been able to attend his sixth grade Capitol trip either. He thought they could maybe take the trip and tour together once COVID-19 is straightened out.

Danny did have to make a trip to Crookston and the AT&T store. He had dropped and cracked his one-year-old phone. The salespeople talked him into buying a new reasonably-priced iPhone along with a case to protect it.

Hopefully, the new phone can hold up to Danny’s busy farm work that likely included some rock picking with Hannah, Evan and a 4-wheeler ATV in the near future.