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The Dickinson Press Top 10: No. 8: Farming woes

A combine harvests a field near Gladstone.

As the year wraps up and we enter 2012, The Dickinson Press takes you through the top stories that filled its pages in 2011. Today we share No. 8.

There is no doubt that this year has been hard on farmers. Very few came out unscathed, whether it was from wet springs, insects or low yields.

Farmers got a rough start during the planting season due to rain. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said durum production acres were down by approximately 50 percent across the state while wheat was down by 20 percent to 30 percent.

A late hatch of grasshoppers left farmers battling the jumping creatures in the fields during August.

Possibly the most disappointing part for farmers was harvest time. Green crops prevented some fields from being harvested before the fall frost. Those that could knock down their product had thin stands and low yields across the board.

If farmers did catch a break, it was with hay. Though flooding in the northwest destroyed hay crops, farmers in western North Dakota had an abundance of hay, so much that they were able to sell it to drought-ridden states like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.