Warm, Dry Conditions Are Leading to Early Planting in North Dakota

Friday, April 1, 2016
By: Kris Norwood, Communications
2016 Plating Season Update: North Dakota

Stay connected with what’s going on in the field during #plant16 through this series of brief interviews with Crop Science sales reps in various regions. Keep checking back for more!

2016 Planting Season Update: Q&A with Mike Hillstrom, Field Sales Rep at Crop Science, a Division of Bayer.

Bayer North Dakota Field Rep, Mike Hillstrom

Mike Hillstrom

Based in: 
Mandan, North Dakota

Sales Territory:
Southwest North Dakota

Key Crops in Territory:
Cereals (Spring wheat, Durum  wheat, barley)

Mike sends us a selfie taken March 17, showing his home office.

What’s going on in Southwest North Dakota right now?

“We’ve had a really mild winter with very little snow. Our normal high early March is in the 35 to 40-degree range, and we’ve probably had four or five days of 70-plus degree temperatures so far in the last two weeks. It’s been considerably warmer and dryer than normal."

What does the warm, dry weather mean for planting season?

“Last week a few guys started planting spring wheat. This is really early for us. Our usual start date is around the last week in March or early April, so we’re probably two to three weeks ahead of normal right now. The earlier we get wheat in the ground, as a rule, the better the crop will be; once the soil temperature warms up around that 40-degree temp, then wheat will germinate, and if conditions are right, these growers want to get going. For canola, if growers want insurance on their crop, April 15th is the earliest they can plant. Corn is typically planted the first week in May, and soybeans are usually around the 10th of May.”

What’s the top concern on growers’ minds in your area this year?

“There’s a lot of talk right now and a lot of concern amongst growers about if we’re going to have a dry summer. Also, the commodity markets are lower than they have been for several years, and still, inputs haven’t gone down a lot, so they’re really struggling to figure out what crop will make them a little bit of money. The opportunity to make money is not as positive as it has been for the last four or five years, so that’s a big concern.”

Related Article: Dilemma for U.S. farmers: Which crops will lose the least money?

What’s keeping you busy at this time of year?

“Right now, as growers are just starting to get in the field, I’m making my rounds before the spring season really gets busy. I want to solidify my business plans with the retailers by reviewing the goals that we set and seeing what else they need from me to ensure that we have a good year. I’m also looking forward to product informational sessions with new employees at some retail locations, along with some great grower meetings here and there.”

Follow the planting season conversion using #plant16 on Twitter, and be sure to mention @Bayer4CropsUS!



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