Weber truck

Crop Watcher Kenny Weber poses by his work truck at the Bridgewater, S.D., farm where he grew up. Weber runs Innovative Ag, a company focused on precision planting. 

“If there is anything that we have learned this year, it is that we need to keep our faith,” said crop watcher Kenny Weber.

Farming near Bridgewater in southeastern South Dakota, his farm experienced one of the wettest years on record.

“This has been one of those years for the farming community that shows that there is a plan in place for everything,” Weber said. “We may not know what it is, but as long as we hang in there, keep the faith and lean on our families and friends, we can get through anything.”

He acknowledged that the year was challenging for many growers in southeastern South Dakota and all over the state. On his farm, he dealt with a very wet harvest 2018 and wasn’t able to do any tillage. The moisture carried into a very wet spring, and tillage work couldn’t catch up.

Growers who were able to get some crops in early had fairly good yields, Weber said, but some were shorter than expected.

Weber went into summer with many acres prevent planted. Then high winds and hail led to green snapped corn and damaged beans.

Harvest had its challenges as well, he said. The ground was in better condition than in 2018, but the crops came out wet and needed to be dried.

“All in all, we were able to get most of our ground ready for next year and all our crops harvested,” Weber said.

Harvest work wrapped up around Nov. 15, and Weber got the equipment cleaned up for next year. Yields were short, he said, in the sub-100 bushel level for corn. The beans were better than expected, but still short.

“High wind and hail were the causes for that,” he said.

Next year, his plan is to try to plant some corn or beans as early as possible.

“It seems as though the last few years, early planted crops have had benefits,” he said.

This winter, his plan is to share time with family for the holidays.

Editor’s Note: The Tri-State Neighbor thanks Weber and all of our crop watchers for sharing their journey with our readers during this challenging season. We wish everyone the best for the year to come.

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Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at jatyeo@tristateneighbor.com or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor