LAKE BENTON, Minn. – The weather was hot, dry and windy in mid-June at Worth Farms in Lincoln County. Consistent wind over 20 knots, with gusts closer to 40 knots per hour had some soil blowing June 13-16. Temperatures in the low to mid-90s quickly dried out the soil.
“We worked our prevented plant acres from 2019, so they were ‘too black’ during the wind,” said Bob Worth. And on some newly-rented farmland, soybeans had been planted too often in years past, so there wasn’t enough residue for 2020.
Soil coated some crops in a light dust ahead of vital rain arriving June 17-19.
Worth Farms received about 1.5 inches of rain on June 18 and then another half-inch on June 20, which was very much needed. Bob knew there was adequate subsoil moisture as the tile lines were still running.
The corn was thigh-high, and the soybeans were at least 10 inches tall, with the first blossoms by June 22.
Living and farming on top of the Buffalo Ridge, the Worths realize that rain can be very hit and miss.
“Sometimes it will come from South Dakota, split when it reaches the ridge, and then re-form on the other side,” Bob said. “Of course, that didn’t matter in 2019 – it just rained.”
This growing season has been much easier, but it was time to get busy with weed control. The Worths have experienced success not putting down a pre-emerge ahead of planting. Instead, the co-op puts down Dual herbicide on the soybeans after they are planted. The herbicide provides a barrier that weeds must grow through to reach the surface, and that has worked well for weed control for them.
Then, the Worths come back with Liberty on all of their acres.
“It’s just the two of us farming these acres, so we have to keep it simple,” Bob said.
With spraying un-accomplishable on the very windy days, Bob, his wife, Gail, their son, Jon, and his wife, Shanna, plus their kids, Will and Rob, had time to entertain their California family.
His California family is what Bob calls his daughter, Kim, and her husband, Pat, plus their three children, Ava, Olivia and Carter. Each summer, they come for a three-week visit to enjoy country living.
They had a ball visiting Grandpa and Grandma on the farm and in the town of Lake Benton, where Bob serves as mayor.
The community celebrated Saddle Horse Holiday Weekend June 17-20 with a limited amount of activities due to COVID-19.
NexGen Energy Partners sponsored a wonderful fireworks display last year and agreed to do that again this year. After all of the challenges with COVID-19 and then social unrest in many parts of Minnesota, the fireworks display was greatly appreciated. Many people came to town to see the show.
Other activities included a stationary parade. For this event, the units were all lined up on the street with participants standing or sitting on the sidewalk behind their units. People drove by in their cars to see the units and to wave, making for a delightful time.
The Worth family also took time to fish, swim and rent a pontoon for a fun time on the lake while the California cousins were in town. They had the opportunity to ride equipment on the farm, too.
“It’s a different kind of pace than what they are used to in California,” Bob said. “It’s a slower pace, but we all have a lot of fun and they love it.”