Mountrail County, ND - It's the season of optimism on farms across North Dakota. Farmers are just getting started putting seeds into fields across the state. One of the earliest to get going after a wet winter has been busy near Parshall.
Jim Olson talked with him about the new growing season.
(Jim Olson, KX News) There's a mix of optimism and reality as Nevets Hoff starts seeding for another year.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "I just hope our markets come back. We put a lot into the crops and know we can raise good yields. We just need a price for them."
(Jim Olson, KX News) He's optimistic as he guides his Quad Trac across a still-moist field near Parshall.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "There's still quite a few wet spots like that."
(Jim Olson, KX News) Hopeful that this fairly early start for his spring wheat pays off.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "The earlier we seed the better it yields. The later stuff never does as good. We take advantage of the growing season - catch a couple of rains, or if it doesn't rain we miss the heatwave during the year. It really affects the bottom line getting in early."
(Jim Olson, KX News) But realistic knowing market prices are still pretty bad.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "Right now nothing looks really good so you have to do every little thing you can to try and save on input costs, put your money where it counts. It all adds up at the end."
(Jim Olson, KX News) And there's the rub - no matter what he does, two things will determine if he turns a profit.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "Two things that make the most difference are Mother Nature and markets, and you can't control either one of them."
(Jim Olson, KX News) Still, he trying to work with Mother Nature by testing soils to make sure he's doing everything he can to provide the best conditions for his growing crops.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "We're continuously working on our soil health - trying to build fertility and make our fields better. It helps them be consistent no matter the weather condtions. If it's too wet it will hold more moisture, if it's too dry we'll have better fertility so the plants won't use as much moisture."
(Jim Olson, KX News) And Hoff says higher prices for what farmers grow will mean better soil for generations to come.
(Nevets Hoff, Mountrail County Farmer) "If we can afford to do it, we're going to do everything we can to improve our soils, improve our business. It just makes it more sustainable for the long run knowing you're going to stay in business."
(Jim Olson, KX News) So while he's planting this year's wheat crop - and getting ready to plant several other crops too - Nevets Hoff has his sights set on keeping the land productive far into the future.
Near Parshall, Jim Olson, KX News.
Hoff says he'll also be planting several other crops this year including corn and sunflowers.
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