Fieldwork and floods

Inside Dakota Ag

This isn't Noah's flood. There's a lot of land that's drying out between Fargo and Valley City

Published on: April 15, 2009

Miles and miles of ... no, not flood waters but fields drying out.


I even saw a tractor and a disk parked in a corn field southwest of Kindred, N.D., today. The soil is light and sandy in this part of eastern North Dakota, and it looked as if farmer had been knocking down cornstalks and airing out the top couple of inches of soil.


The fieldwork was the biggest surprise during my tour to see what the second crest on the Red River and the flooding on the Sheyenne looked like.


Locals say there is a lot of water going through the Sheyenne, but the river’s only about a half mile wide in the valley that runs from Valley City to Lisbon. Some farmsteads perched on the edges of the Sheyenne are taking on water. At about Kindred, the Sheyenne begins to spread out over Red River Valley’s table-top flat fields. Snow geese bob in the water next to fence posts.


When you’re the one surrounded by water and sandbags, it must seem as if the whole world is under water. But this isn’t Noah’s flood. There’s a lot of dry land out there and spring is coming. I saw many planters and air seeders pulled up in front of shops and machine sheds on farms today. If it doesn’t rain, planting will begin in two to three weeks.