11:24 p.m. tonight is significant for farmers

Created: 6/20/17 (Tue) | Topic: Events

June 20, 2017: 11:24 p.m. today marks a turning point for farmers and ranchers. Why is the Summer Solstice of significance to farmers and ranchers?

Download the Significance of the Summer Solstice mp3

Read the transcript:

So, do you want to feel like you’re aging quick? Many of you will go to bed, and it’s springtime tonight, and wake up and all of a sudden you’re in summer time, tomorrow. 11.24 p.m. Central Time tonight is the official time of Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere.

It’s that season of the year where we try and spend as much time as we can with maybe even additional family from other parts of the country coming back for family reunions or it’s school reunions, or it’s the fairs that the counties are having right now. All these things go on, but to a farmer and rancher today’s date marks a different significance.

It’s that date where those crops are going to start to recognize the decrease in our daylight. Our short-season crops – our wheats, our barleys, our pulse crops, which are peas and lentils – they’re going to start going into their maturity phase. And this is important because a plant is designed to produce the seeds for the crop next year. That’s how plants propagate. The recognition of photosynthesis within that plant determines when that plant starts to mature and die down if it’s an annual.

And the seeds that we harvest, those truckloads that we fill with those kernels of wheat, those kernels of barley, the pea seed, is what is now being looked forward to by the farmer across our state. Because within a month, there will be crops starting to be harvested in North Dakota. You’ll see those golden fields. And yes, there are some challenges with weather this year, on the drought side, but it is significant to know that this is the time of year for farmers and ranchers where a lot of their yields and their livelihood is being determined by the weather we receive and the length of day that now is changing.

So Summer Solstice is a turning point for farmers and ranchers, to that day of harvest.

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