Ben and Natalie Storm and family

Ben and Natalie Storm and their children, McKenzie, Milo, Erma and Waylon. Submitted photo

DOVER, Minn. – “It rained and rained and rained and rained.”

That’s how Ben Storm described the 3.5 inch rain that started on Saturday, May 16, at 10 p.m. and continued until Sunday, May 17, until the later afternoon hours.

“It wasn’t ever a heavy rain, which was really nice because nothing washed,” he said. “We are at the time of year when heavy rains can really make a mess because we don’t have much cover on the fields at this point.”

Another 1.5-inch fell on March 26. Climate FieldView indicated 11.1 inches of rain so far for the 2020 growing season compared to 13.8 inches for the 10-year average.

The Storms completed about 15 percent of their spraying for corn. They applied Harness Max tank-mixed with Roundup. Ben completes all of his own spraying, and he’s seen some weed emergence.

“There are some weeds here and there,” he said. “With no-till, we have to get after it a little sooner in the spring. Without tillage, we’re not getting rid of that first flush of weeds, so there are a few out there at this point.”

With wet spots in some of the fields, Ben expected to continue spraying corn around June 1 or a little sooner.

Corn development varied – from emergence to V3 (three leaf collars showing). Early-planted soybeans had one open trifoliate leaf.

The Storms were still hauling corn into town, with Ben’s dad, Jake Storm, hauling a few loads on May 26. Valerie and the kids, McKenzie, Milo, Erma and Waylon, were working on lawn/landscape management and gardening. Like many other families, the Storms have worked on farm improvements projects during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. They pulled out the rocks around the house and cleaned things up to get rid of weeds and dirt. The kids also helped Natalie put up their above-ground pool.

School was completed for the 2019-20 year.

The kids helped Ben with the pig chores. It didn’t take much time as showing pigs is postponed for now. The Storms learned in mid-May that the 2020 Minnesota State Fair is cancelled.

This is the sixth time the Minnesota State Fair has been cancelled since first held in 1859. It was cancelled in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War. The fair was cancelled again in 1893 due to scheduling conflicts with the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Then in 1945, the fair was cancelled due to federal government travel restrictions of WWII, and in 1946 due to the polio epidemic.

The Storms have 25 locker appointments for finished pigs this fall.

“I am going to try to do my best to sell the pigs and hopefully they will go in somebody’s freezer,” he said. “If not, they will have to go to a market somewhere.”

The impact of COVID-19 regulations continued to impact farm and city life more than two months after the novel coronavirus pandemic began.