GOODWIN, S.D. (KELO)–It may sound strange, but dry conditions can actually be a good thing, especially for some farmers in northeast South Dakota.
Todd Hanten’s year got off to a rocky start when it was time to plant corn at his farm in Goodwin. He got rained out multiple times and ended up planting off and on for several weeks. This eventually led to a crop that was ready for harvest at different times, making it an interesting season.
“The growing season was one of the craziest ever and it seems like every year we think we’ve seen it all and we haven’t,” said Todd.
After harvesting this field over a ten day period, Todd Hanten is finally finishing cutting this piece of acreage. Normally, he would be able to harvest this field in two days, but since the corn was planted at different times, that means it wasn’t all ready on the same day.
“This is it, we are finally harvesting the last of it here. And we did the last planted first because we are lucky that we have cattle to feed that corn to because it was wet, it was still 30%,” said Todd. “Then we had to come back and do the first planted stuff and that was over here to the north and that was nice and dry 15.9 to 18.9. Then now I’m finally back here doing the stuff in the middle that got planted in the middle and just now is finally ready.”
“You don’t know how big the different ears are and what it’s going to produce so it’s really until you get into the field you really have no idea what it’s going to be like so you’re always hoping but never sure,” said Monica Hanten.
Having a dry and early fall has benefited Hanten’s fields after starting off super wet.
“Since it was so late planted, we had this late fall, and this dry weather really made that crop mature and dry down,” said Todd.
That in turn saves Hanten on grain drying costs.
“Everybody was worried and expecting a lot of drying costs especially when propane is high, so it was a really good stroke of luck that we had this fall. The dryness and the heat that really brought the moisture down,” said Todd.
Benefiting from the lack of moisture and many hot days.
“The corn really took off and grew even though it was so far behind from planting, it really took off and grew fast,” said Todd.
Todd also added that he believes his conservation practices that he implements, such as minimum tillage also played a role in the good yields on his corn.