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Published July 02 2010

Forum editorial: Good start on crops good news

It’s always risky to assume the bins will be bursting from a bumper harvest this summer and fall. But early assessments of crop progress in the Red River Valley and beyond are finding very good early season conditions for most crops.

Even without expert examinations, it’s not hard to see the good conditions in most fields. The old saying about “corn knee-high by the Fourth of July” is falling by the wayside this summer because the corn in many fields throughout the region is higher already. With the exception of fields that are too wet, corn looks to be growing toward a very good crop.

The same is true for small grains, where good moisture (too much in some places) and warm weather have pushed wheat and other grains to heading-out stage in some fields. It’s too early to assume guaranteed yields, but sunny, breezy weather will keep grains growing rapidly. There is plenty of moisture in the ground to sustain crops through several days (weeks?) of dry weather.

Sugar beets also appear to be coming along quite nicely. Beets, of course, have a long way to go before harvest, but plant conditions thus far suggest the crop is off to a very good start.

Again, it’s very early in the crop-growing cycle. Any number of calamities from bad weather to disease to an early frost can turn a bright picture dark overnight. But even the most cautious farmers know when crops are off to a favorable start. That’s the way it looks now. Even with the obvious cautions about what could happen, a good start is good news.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.