Silage snow

A harvest crew cuts silage after an October storm that brought a foot of snow in Roscoe, S.D.

Northern South Dakota had quite a snow storm Oct. 10-12 with strong winds and low visibility. Crop watcher Jonathan Rohrbach estimated the Roscoe area ended up with about a foot of snow, but it was hard to pinpoint because it melted continuously as it snowed.

“My cattle did well through it, they are all still out on pasture,” he said.

The crops got a lot of drifting into them on the west and north sides of the fields. A week later, most of the snow had melted, but fields were quite muddy in those spots.

Rohrbach cut his silage Oct. 18-19 and got around well with the trucks, only having problems where the snow drifts had been.

“We didn’t get drop away stuck, but would spin out when we were loaded in those drift areas, mainly when we had to stop for the cutter to get out of the way,” he said. “Then we just hooked a chain on the back of the cutter and gave the trucks a pull out of the trouble spot. We never got stuck with the cutter.”

The silage tonned out well, he said, but it was getting dry from the freezing temperatures that came during the snowstorm.

Rohrbach cut one neighbor’s corn right before the snowstorm and has one neighbor left to go. With the rain Oct. 20 and 21, the work will be pushed back some more.

Farmers in the area started to combine soybeans late last week. The local elevator was taking beans up to 17% moisture.

“There have been many comments about how wet the fields are, but producers are trying to harvest whatever they can get to,” he said.

The rye and hairy vetch Rohrbach seeded was growing nicely, but a little slow due to the cool weather. Rye that was flown onto the standing corn is growing nicely as well, he said.

“You can really see it nicely now between the corn rows,” he said.

Pastures were in excellent condition as well. Rohrbach had fences to fix and some to rebuild before the ground freezes. He expects the work will keep him busy between harvesting opportunities.

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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 or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor