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Agweek Crop Stop: Weinreises report 'exceptionally good' crops

Jim Weinreis

BEACH -- Jim Weinreis is one of seven brothers in Weinreis Brothers, a company that operates a diversified grain, cattle and feedlot operation, based generally about 10 miles southeast of Golva, or about 25 miles south of Beach.

On the crop side, the Weinreises raise winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, oats, lentils and corn. If their feedlot is filled, they also background-feed up to 8,000 head of cattle. They then ship cattle to Dinklage Feedlots in northwest Nebraska to finish to market weight.

"The winter wheat we harvested was exceptionally good for our area -- we've got 70- to 80-bushel winter wheat," Weinreis said while spraying lentils near Beach on Aug. 23. "Rainfall was so plentiful this summer in Golden Valley County that Weinreis admits he lost track of the totals -- maybe 20 inches or more in some areas.

Last fall was on the dry side, but the Weinreises planted a fair amount of winter wheat anyway.

"We're glad that we did, of course, with those kinds of yields," he said.

Test weight was up to 61 pounds per bushel. Protein was approaching 13 percent, which is strong for winter wheat.

In its Sept. 9 report, The National Agricultural Statistics Service say western and central parts of North Dakota have been picking up much-needed rainfall.

Weinreis said durum was above average, hitting about 65 to 70 bushels per acre. Spring wheat ranged from 55 bushels to 75 bushels. The family has 700 or 800 acres of corn and markets much of it through the cattle.

The lentils had more weed pressure than normal. The lentils might make 2,200 to 2,400 pounds per acre, which is good for the area. They green-chopped the oats for haylage, and that went well. Sunflowers are looking good, and if the frost holds off Weinreis expects average or better yields.

"You always think grain markets are too low, but fortunately, we're having some really good yields," he said.

Weinreis said one of his recent concerns is that a local chemical dealer has not been accepting the 30-gallon chemical drums for refilling.

"We buy a lot of chemical in 30-gallon plastic drums," he said, and has a system that is geared toward them.

"They have a micro-valve that sucks chemical out of the barrels, but because of (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations, the companies have decided they're not going to take those barrels back and reuse them," Weinreis said.

He said he goes through up to five or six drums a day, and the change has meant he has to open the drums and get a micro-valve that must be screwed in before he can hook it up -- causing time and exposure to chemical smells.