Jamie Beyer

Jamie Beyer during soybean planting 2019. Photo by Andrea Johnson.

TINTAH, Minn. – Rodd and Jamie Beyer had about 30 acres of low-lying rental ground in Roberts County, S.D., that will not be planted to corn this year. In Traverse County on the Minnesota side, there was about 100 acres that remained flooded due to an open dam. There were a couple of other low areas that were too wet to plant too.

“All the corn we’re going to plant is planted,” said Rodd. “There is just some low river ground and some other low spots that I’m not going to plant.”

In Roberts County, the prevent plant cutoff date for corn was May 25 without a reduction in payment or possible detriment to the field’s APH – Actual Production History. On the Minnesota side, the cutoff was May 31.

“In my mind, I’ve made it, I’m done, I’m not going to plant anymore corn there,” Rodd continued. “It’s not a hardship or any convenience, as it’s nothing compared to what some others are experiencing. I’m not disappointed, it’s not that out of the ordinary for a wet spring.”

The couple has found these things often happen in west central Minnesota, and northeast South Dakota.

“I think it is interesting the two pieces of ground we have left to plant are actually tiled,” said Jamie, on May 28. “Just continually receiving a little bit of rain, staying wet and not drying out.”

Prevented planting was a big subject of talk for farmers – along with the announcement of another round of Market Facilitation Program payments. Some farmers were guessing whether it would make sense to get something planted to get the MFP even if conditions were very wet.

The Beyers think that in the end farmers will try to plant if they possibly can, but if the deadline for prevent planting arrives first, they will take prevent plant.

“The natural pressure is to plant – without the MFP payments, without any other discussions,” said Jamie. “I think there is a lot of talk – but does it actually change anyone’s behavior – that I am a little skeptical of. These farmers want to plant even after deadline.

“The economics are really complicated, so there is no clear decision-making. It’s a fuzzy science to figure it out.”

The Beyers were pleased with the corn, soybeans and sugarbeets they planted.

“A lot of it is coming up already,” Rodd said. “Some people are complaining it’s too yellow. It looks like that will get corrected when we get some temperatures in the 70s.

“The earlier planted corn that is not up is right there and ready to poke through. One or two nice days and things are going to look a lot better around here.”

Some people took planters out into the fields during the Memorial Day weekend. Rodd had 500 acres of soybeans to plant on the Minnesota side. Spraying began on May 29.

The Riverview Dairy crew planned to take first cutting of Beyers’ alfalfa during the last week of May. The hay is cut into swaths and then merged. The chopped product is blown into a truck box and then packed tight at the dairy.

“It’s all hands off for me, I don’t do anything except for spraying weeds, insects and fungus,” Rodd said. “They take care of all of the harvesting and hauling.

“It looks like an awesome crop. It’s really thick and lush and really beautiful and really nice to see around here.”

As leaders in Minnesota agriculture, Rodd and Jamie were keeping a close eye on both state and federal legislation and policies.

First off, for Minnesota the session came to a close after a short special session. Jamie was still reviewing the information, but it looked like agriculture was treated fairly.

She was very pleased that the Ag to Schools property tax relief program was increased from 40 percent to 70 percent support with the State of Minnesota partnering to help fund agricultural land referendum tax liabilities. The program is going to save Minnesota farm families $80 million in special referendum taxes.

“It was really exciting to see those things come together, and from everything that I’ve read and heard, it looks like nearly all of our soybean priorities were addressed,” she said. “This year it seems everyone did a phenomenal job of listening to what we needed as farmers and incorporating that somehow, and also addressing our concerns and making sure those negative provisions weren’t included.”