Farmers all over the United States face many obstacles during their farming year which differs vastly from one state to another. Alaska farmers are no exception. One such problem Delta Junction farmers have to cope with is the wild herd of free roaming bison (also referred to as buffalo). In 1928 a herd of 23 bison was transplanted from the National Bison Range in Montana to the then relatively uninhabited Delta Junction area. Conditions were so favorable for the bison that the herd grew to about 500 animals. Although bison hunting is allowed by special permit, the herd continues to flourish at 500 plus animals.
Delta Junction bison spend summers at the base of the Alaska Range where they calve.In August, they migrate to the agricultural area where they wreak havoc on the maturing crops.Farmers have to make the decision of harvesting before the grain is completely dry in order to “beat the bison” or allow it to dry in the fields and take the chance that the bison will stay out.Although it is an added expense, most often farmers will harvest early and dry their grain before putting it in the grain bins.