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Crops on the grow in county

Corn in a field in Stevens County. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

The fields are green and crops are looking good, representatives from two agriculture businesses and a retired farmer said.

"In general, the corn looks excellent," said Adam Gibson of the Hefty Seed Company office in rural Hancock. "In most cases it's growing quickly."

"The crops, healthwise, are off to a good start," said Adam Bjerketvedt of Precision Ag in rural Hancock.

"(Crops) look good west of Donnelly," retired farmer Richard Olsen said.

Rainfall levels in June have varied across Stevens County and the surrounding area.

"We missed some of those big rains," Olsen said. "When Morris got two to four inches I got 9/10ths of an inch and I'm 12 miles away."

"We missed the one in Morris with four inches," Bjerketvedt said. "In Hancock we got an inch and a quarter that time. But we had three inches before that."

Heavier rains did cause some water to pool in low spots in fields, Gibson said. Yet, those wet spots aren't as large and didn't stay as wet as he believed they would, Gibson said early in the week of June 25.

Wet spots that remained aren't likely to be replanted, Gibson said.

Bjerketvedt said heavy rains made for a "slower spraying process" but work continues.

The rain did cause another concern for Bjerketvedt.

If the water table under the soil is high, the root system of crops may not go deep enough to absorb the needed nitrogen and other nutrients, Bjerketvedt said.

"Once they hit the water table, the roots stop growing," Bjerketvedt said.

Bjerketvedt said it could be a "fluff and buff" year where crops look good in the field but don't produce the good yields because of compromised root systems. During some dry years, the crops may curl and that can worry farmers. In the end, "crops can turn out to be the best ones because the roots went down," Bjerketvedt said.

Overall, the rain was likely beneficial, the three men said.

"Most of the crop got in early and really caught up. Now we need warm weather," Olsen said.

"I look out my window and it's looking gorgeous," Bjerketvedt said. "I'd say there is definitely potential out there."

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