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Heavy wet snow slows soybean harvest in LaMoure County

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LAMOURE COUNTY -- Heavy Snowfall before harvest has hamstrung many soybean farmers in central North Dakota.

Wesley Knudsen doesn't want to be sweeping snow right now.

He'd much rather be sitting in a combine.

"This year I'm not sure what it'll take to dry up," Soybean farmer Wesley Knudsen said. "I have very few soybeans harvested."

He still has 2,000 acres to harvest. But here he is, broom in hand, equipment smothered with the white stuff.

"In 2009 there was a light dusting in the first week of October, but nothing like this, not this much. Not this heavy and not this wet," Knudsen said. 

Not only does this sticky snow slow the harvest, but it also leaves a lot of uncertainty.

When you have heavy snow like we've had it can flatten out the soybean plants, which actually makes them harder to harvest.

Agronomist Chad Limesand said that can create some major problems.

"The biggest thing will be, how well are they going to be able to pick the crop up once it dries off," Agronomist Chad Limesand said. "And then B, how long is it going to take for them to get in the feild without getting equipment stuck."

"Without sunshine, the bean crop can't dry down," Limesand adds.

Longtime farmers say snow hasn't seriously affected soybean harvest in central North Dakota in more than a decade.