Horter thankful for good yields despite little rain

October 31, 2023

John Horter’s place was hurting for precipitation most of the summer. The northeastern South Dakota farmer concedes that beggars can’t be choosers, but lately, he’s lamenting the fact that too much rain, and even some snow, is keeping his harvest progress to a minimum.

“I feel we’re a little behind in harvest,” Horter observed during an October 27th interview with the South Dakota Soybean Network. “Here we’re sitting during the last few days of October, and I’m looking out my office window and the ground is actually white this morning because we had some snow. We have about a half-day left of soybean harvest. We harvest soybeans first here in our part of the world and then we work on the corn. We haven’t really started much corn at all on our farm.”

Horter, the fifth generation to farm his family’s land at Andover, South Dakota, is quick to add that in his business, one needs to roll with the punches.

“That’s part of being a farmer,” said Horter. “You never know what you’re going to wake up to one day to the next and you figure out a way to make it work and you just buckle down and get the work done, and eventually it’ll get done. For as dry as it was this summer, the yields have been very, very good, so we’re very blessed with that and the rest of it just kind of falls into place so we’ll just keep plugging away.”

The few times it rained at his place were memorable to Horter, who recalls the scant precipitation he received came not a moment too soon. Horter’s planting season started dry resulting in germination issues.

“[Crops] didn’t all come up right away, but we got some rains there in May and June that kind of got things going. We had some rain on the Fourth of July and really, we had no rain until August again, so it got quite hot and dry in July and we were kind of fearing a pretty short crop and things looked kind of rough,” he said. “But in August, things kind of started raining more timely when the crops were filling and producing their seeds.”

For that, Horter acknowledges divine intervention as well as the quality of the seeds that are planted in the first place.

“We’re just very thankful for the technology that’s out there today with the hybrids and the efficiencies we have with those,” said Horter. “We’re pulling out a pretty good crop, so we’re very thankful for everything that’s out there and all the technology we have to back us.”

Horter, along with other South Dakota Soybean Checkoff farmer directors, helped to found Hungry for Truth. He’ll be featured talking about that organization on an upcoming edition of the South Dakota Soybean Pod, sponsored by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and available on most podcast platforms.