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Farming pipeline ground: Farmers adjust to changes in soil

Area producers have taken advantage of the dry fall weather to get their crops out.

Nathan Grace, a farmer from Hartford, combined his corn on the field he rents southwest of Tea. The Dakota Access Pipeline runs through that ground, as well as some of his ground by Humboldt. To farm those acres, he did some soil testing this spring and added more fertilizer to help bring the soil back up to its previous status before the pipeline.

“I’m guessing for a few years we’re going to have to do that to build it back up. I think we’ll have to apply extra fertilizer in the next few years,” Grace said.

Peggy Hoogestraat of Chancellor said her son farms the ground she owns west of Hartford and he also had to put on extra fertilizer.

“We’ve had to take extra steps to get the nutrient levels back to where they should be,” she said.

Hooegestraat said they had to adjust their tilling methods because the land laid differently. She noted they had to change their methods to try to eliminate compaction or to keep erosion in check.

Grace said the ground where the pipeline runs is compacted.

“We had water sitting in one spot where I didn’t think there should’ve been water sitting, but maybe that will go away the next year,” he said.

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