Rohrbach planter

Crop watcher Jonathan Rohrbach stands by his planter at his Roscoe, S.D., farm. He had seeded some small grains, but was waiting for fields to dry before planting corn in late May. 

ROSCOE, S.D. - It’s been tough sledding for crop watcher Johnathan Rohrbach and his northern South Dakota operation out of Roscoe.

With an additional inch of rain over the last two weeks and persistent cool temperatures, Rohrbach said the fields have simply just not dried out enough. While some operations did have some silage cut by the time frost hit the area on Sept. 28, he said a lot is left.

“We are hoping the fields will dry out a little yet, but the freeze and moisture predicted (for the end of the week) do not look to be helping matters any,” he said.

Like much of South Dakota, Rohrbach’s operation is expecting below-freezing temperatures by Oct. 9. Snow will follow on Oct. 10 according to some early weather reports. Unfortunately, that means soybean harvest will be delayed in the area, Rohrbach said.

“The soybean harvest appears to be on hold as well for right now, just not enough dry weather for the time being,” he said.

Looking on the positive side of life, Rohrbach said his pastures have looked good recently and his cattle are content with the green grass that is still blanketing the countryside. For the small grain crops, Rohrbach said that the rye and hairy vetch seeded into the barley stubble is growing nicely.

“I had some rye flown onto about 110 acres of corn at a rate of 70 an acre,” Rohrbach said. “The rye kernels on the ground are swelled and sprouted nicely. With this wet weather, they should be rooting pretty soon.

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Reach Reporter Jager Robinson at 605-335-7300, email jager.robinson@lee.net or follow on Twitter @Jager_Robinson.