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Progress up north

  • Combines rolling

    The "weather's been cooperating" lately around Northwood, North Dakota, where Keith and Ben Thorsgard were making good progress cutting their 2010 winter wheat. "We've been getting a lot done lately," Keith says.

  • Weather & yields

    "We could use some rain, too. Kind of dry out here," Keith adds. Ben says their yields have averaged 70 to 80 bushels per acre. The Thorsgards use the latest Deere GreenStar mapping, autosteer and other precision tools.

  • Family operation

    Keith and Ben, shown here, farm around 7,000 acres of wheat, soybeans, corn and sunflowers with their grandfather, uncle, father and 6 cousins. "The wheat moisture's low, protein's a little low, but yield is good," Ben says.

  • Russia on the mind?

    Asked if whether the recent closure of Russian wheat exports would change his cropping plans, Ben says "We will grow the same thing every year. We don't plan on increasing wheat acres."

  • Moving along in Minnesota

    A year ago, the corn and bean crop in central Minnesota was about 2 weeks behind. This year, Vince Anez of Little Falls, Minnesota, says they're about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

  • Timely rains

    Vince, who farms and operates a consulting business with brother Paul, says his area's seen timely rains all year. "Probably by the end of the month, we'll be chopping corn for the dairy guys," he says.

  • Bean worries

    Paul says, though some soybeans are chest-high where they were knee-high this time last year, too much rain has caused disease ssues. "We've had more diseases, like white mold. In areas where it's severe, we're going to lose half the yield."

  • Downhill slide

    But, the outlook's still bright despite challenges like these. "We've had just about an ideal summer. The corn's progressing along way better than last year," Vince says.

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