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. 

Producers in northern South Dakota seeded small grains at the beginning of May, but very few started planting corn before the evening of May 17, reported crop watcher Jonathan Rohrbach of Roscoe.

He had only a handful of days for seeding between rains this month.

“When it was ready to go, many rigs were running well into the early hours of morning,” he said.

He finished seeding barley May 16 and started on corn the next day before getting rained out.

He recorded 1.25 inches rain from May 17-19 and a total of 2.1 inches for May with more on the way in the week leading up to Memorial Day.

“It looks to be a week before any planting may resume,” Rohrbach said.

After two years of extreme drought in his area, most cattle producers are happy for the moisture. Feed crops will be planted eventually, even if they are late, he said.

Pastures are looking nice and green with grass growth already exceeding that of the prior two year’s for this time of year, he reported.

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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