New growing season brings sense of hope for farmers


Last year was a nightmare for farmers across KELOLAND as severe flooding ravaged their livelihoods.

This planting season is looking to be brighter for them, both literally and emotionally.

As a fourth-generation farmer, Robb Sherard has seen many things throughout his career.
But last year’s flood was like nothing he’d seen before.

“Last year was a first for me. We didn’t get anything planted,” Sherard said.

Hofer: And how did that make you feel after that?

Sherard: (Chuckles) …it wasn’t… it’s just hard to explain.

His son Aaron, a fifth-generation farmer, remembers the struggles too.

“We were flooded a lot around the area. We couldn’t actually leave our own farm without driving through water. We got in about July and we got some cover crops put in, that’s all we did last year,” Aaron Sherard said.

They both spend several hours working on their farm in Hurley, South Dakota. Now they’re looking to put those troubles behind them and plant some hope for this season.

“We were pretty worried coming into this spring, but we ended up getting out and putting all of the crops in,” Aaron said.

“It’s a whole different feeling than last year let’s put it that way,” Robb said.

Of course, the season didn’t start off totally perfect.

“We got some hail that came through, and we’re going to have to re-plant some crop, but it was a huge change from this year to last year,” Aaron said.

They have several fields across 600 acres they plant every year. They say farmers in their area commonly plant corn and beans.

“We kind of switch it up a little bit looking for kind of a niche; We went with a lot of small grains this year. We put in some alfalfa, some oats,” Aaron said.

When asked about how the rest of the season will pan out, the Sherard’s were uncertain if they’d be able to hit their profit margin.

“Of course the prices are… they’re not good. The prices aren’t good and then there’s a lot of guys are worried about — a lot of guys that are worried about what the prices are going to be this fall,” Aaron said.

While they’ll have to give it time to see how that pans out, they hope that, along with their crops, their optimism will grow too.

“I think there is a lot of optimism around here and what not. It’s just – yeah,” Aaron said.

“You know… I always think that everything will work out in the end, and… well, I’ve been doing it a long time and things always seem to work out,” Robb said.

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