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80 inches of snow brings relief to South Dakota wheat

Over 80 inches of snow this winter eases moisture concerns that Lee Lubbers had about his South Dakota wheat field while Chad Henderson waits for his wheat in Alabama to dry out.


Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, grew up in the farming tradition, and remembers using leftover scholarship money as the down payment for his first tractor and rent for 200 acres. Today, he farms more than 17,000 acres of dryland soybeans, corn, and wheat. Lubbers says one of the most important things to him is to always be learning and challenging himself to build an operation and a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.

After a four month stretch last summer and fall with virtually no measurable precipitation, about Dec. 10 we got hit with our first blizzard. We've had around 80 inches of snow since that winter storm.

As a result, we’ve been spending a lot of days pushing snow, opening roads, and re-opening those same roads a few weeks later. We did get the main layer to crust a couple weeks ago briefly. However, since then, we’ve had a couple 12-inch plus snows and various flurries, so every time the wind hits 25+ mph it all starts blowing back and shutting everything down again. The good news is that the snow will provide us with the moisture we need to get our wheat crop off to a good start when it starts growing again. This was a big concern as 2022 came to an end.

A rural road in North Dakota drifts closed with snow at sunset
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Between loading trucks, pushing snow, shop work, and paperwork it’s as busy as the growing season. We needed a change in the weather pattern from the dry weather we had all last season, so I’m not going to complain about it … yet.

All our trucks have been through the shop and the planters are about to head in next. Everything is a little behind on the regular schedule due to all the days of blocked roads and closed business days in our region. We’ll keep pushing away literally and figuratively. Until next time, stay safe everyone!


Chad Henderson is part of a fifth-generation farming operation in Madison, Alabama. Henderson Farms operates over 8,000 acres of dryland and irrigated corn, dryland soybeans, wheat, and dryland and irrigated double-crop soybeans. When not farming, Chad can be found carrying on another proud family tradition as a drag racer for Henderson Racing.

Winter has been busy with preparing for planting, managing the wheat crop, meeting with our vendors, and attending trade shows. We’ve had a good amount of rain this winter and are looking forward to some warmer, sunny skies this week.

An ADS lift station on Chad Henderson's farm in Alabama
Photo credit: XtremeAg

This winter, we put a wheat trial on our tiled ground with the ADS lift station. Next to it we have a field without tile so we can compare results. I'm excited because we have not been able to grow a successful crop on this ground because it would turn into a mud hole and drown out the crop. The lift station has been great with all the rain in keeping the water off the wheat. It also allows us to get into the field faster as we can better manage the water table. As soon as the ground allows, we will be bringing the sprayers in to apply nitrate to our wheat crop.

A green wheat field in Alabama
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Our planters are lacking the parts needed from Precision Planting to be field ready. Last year taught us to pull the planters in the shop early to prepare for planting. Planting time will be here quickly. The next few weeks we are looking forward to being at the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic. It gives us time to see new products and learn more about what we are already using.

I’m really looking forward to our XtremeAg member meeting at the National Farm Machinery Show next week. See you then.

Xtreme Ag logo is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit for more information.

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