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North Dakota has fewer prevented planting acres

The number of prevented-planting acres in North Dakota this year apparently won’t be as high as once feared.

As of July 26, the most recent date for which statistics are available, 1,663,847 prevented-planting acres in the state had been reported, Bryan Olschlager, farm program director of the compliance division of the North Dakota Farm Service Agency, tells Agweek.

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He estimates that number will rise to 1.7 million to 1.8 million after all the data is loaded into FSA’s database. The wet spring and difficult planting conditions, particularly in southwest North Dakota, led to concern that the number would be much higher.

“I don’t see us hitting the 2 million mark,” Olschlager said. “We had looked at that earlier as a possibility.”

“I do think into the late planting period, farmers kept planting. They wanted to get a crop in,” he says, based on conservations with other FSA officials and his own observations.

In recent travels around the state, “I saw some prevent-plant, idled acres, but not to the extent we had anticipated,” Olschlager said.

“There’s a lot of crop out there that’s pretty young for this time of year. But if we get a little more precip (sic) and have a late fall, hopefully the crop will make it,” he said.

A final estimate on prevented-planting acres in North Dakota could be available by the middle of August.

Though 1.8 million acres would be high by historical standards, the number would be only half the 3.6 million prevented-planting acres in North Dakota in 2013. The northern part of the state was hit particularly hard by wet weather and prevented-planting last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, of which the FSA is an arm, requires farmers who request prevented-planting credit to report the applicable acreage within 15 calendar days after the final planting date for the crop. Final planting dates vary by crop, but typically they’re all before July 15.

Some farmers contacted their county FSA office before this year’s July 15 deadline, but not all offices have had time yet to assemble information from those producers. That further slows efforts to estimate prevented-planting acreage, FSA officials said.

FSA officials in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana say they’re still compiling their prevented-planting acres. They’re uncertain when estimates will be available.

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