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Never-ending rain makes for a bleak crop outlook

Stalks of sunflowers in this field east of Greenbush are breaking down under the stress of being water logged over a long period of time. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

This soybean field, along County Road 3 south of Badger, stands in a field of water as far as one can see. Snow showers were occuring at the time of this photo was taken. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

A tractor with grain cart in tow stand ready to haul the soybeans being dumped from the combine into a semi on the nearby gravel road. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Muddy, water-filled tracks tell the story of a wet harvest for Mark Foldesi. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Countless round bales of hay, each weighing approximately 1500 pounds, lie in a vast bed of water near Badger. (photo by Lori Foldesi)

Since the latter part of the third week in September, area farmers have been inundated with rain. It’s been relentless to say the least.

East of Greenbush, the early evening of October 8, Mark Foldesi was combining soybeans. The wet, muddy field had water-filled ruts wherever the combine with tracks had went. His daughter, Courtney Peters, was in charge of maneuvering the grain truck onto the field crossing approach so Mark could get close enough to unload the combine’s hopper.

The Foldesi’s also had large, round hay bales, each weighing approximately 1400 pounds each, sitting in water.

“We actually had some of the bales by Badger float away,” Mark’s wife, Lori, said.

Mark added, “There are areas were nothing will be able to get done. It’s going to make a big difference what the weather will be like. If it doesn’t snow and we may get a month of good weather and if/or the ground is frozen, we may get a chance.”

Meanwhile, southwest of Greenbush on the Mark Melby farms, I visited with Mark’s father, Bob, the next day.

“It’s a mess … a person sits on pins and needles trying to keep the combine from sliding around,” he said. “We can’t go without using tracks. Two years ago we sold the old tracks and had to buy again this year. The rubber tracks we are using now are much better than the steel ones we used years ago.”

In order to keep the combines light (in weight) the soybeans were unloaded more often. A large tractor stood at the end of the field hooked up to a grain cart equipped with mounted tracks. The tractor with the cart were then driven alongside a semi parked on the adjacent gravel road for the beans to be unloaded.

That day the soybean moisture content was between 18-19% – they needed to be dried down to 14%. Water was still standing in low spots in the field.

Rain continued to fall last week Wednesday, Thursday, and Thursday night. Friday morning brought lightning followed by loud claps of thunder, cooling temperatures and rain turning into snow.

Sunday, October 13, was another day of mist turning to rain and scattered snow showers with the sun briefly peeking through the clouds on a few occasions.

As the saying goes, “It seems like it’s going to be another one of ‘those’ years.”

And, that’s just what it is.

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