Staying on top of weeds on southeast KELOLAND farms


WORTHING, S.D. (KELO) — Drive around farm country south of Sioux Falls and you’d think weeds were the crop of the year in many places. Thanks to spring flooding and heavy rains, farmers can’t plant a crop in some areas and that means weeds are taking over.

Weeds, weeds and more weeds. You don’t have to go far to find fields swarming with the wild plants. Parker area farmer Allan Berthelsen says it’s a result of spring flooding and even more rain after that. The moisture has prevented many farmers from planting.

“My dad says the upper half of it would always take care of you in the wet years and the bottom half would take care of you even in the 30s. This year here you can see there’s nothing in it,” Berthelsen said.

Trenton Olson at CHS in Worthing helps farmers with a variety of problems including spraying weeds.

“One waterhemp plant can produce up to 750,000 seeds. Getting that in control this year so it’s not going to be a problem for years to come has been a challenge,” Olson said.

“There have been issues. It’s been wet. It was wet from the beginning. It’s wet now. Guys are still struggling. There’s implements getting stuck in the field, still,” Olson said.

Farmers are doing everything they can to avoid having fields like this next year and that includes drain tiling for some. It’s a practice Olson supports.

“Anything to help improve the ground. They’re helping the soil. They’re helping conservation and things,” Olson said.

Olson does say if it’s not done properly, there can be problems.

“Goes to the neighbors. It ponds up, it pools, it doesn’t flow like it should,” Olson said.

For Berthelsen, it’s about making the most out of the land he takes care of. He’d rather see fields of corn than ones littered with weeds.

“It does have a place to drain eventually but it just, overwhelming, the last four years it’s just been getting worse and worse every time,” Berthelsen said.

In Monday’s Eye on KELOLAND, we’ll take you inside the tiling process. You’ll also hear more from Berthelsen about why he’s frustrated by the poor weather this year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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