The week ending Sept. 26 was unseasonably hot and dry throughout the state. The National Agricultural Statistics Service report said that 85 percent of corn was mature, compared to 23% last year and 52% for the five-year average. Corn harvest was 24% complete in Ohio compared to 1% last year and 5% for the five-year average. Corn silage was 95% harvested, compared to 66% last year and 80% for the five-year average. Eighty-eight percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 73% last year and 80% for the five-year average. Soybeans were 66% mature, which was 40% ahead of last year and 29% ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were reported at 29%, up 24 percent from last year and up 20% for the five-year average. Winter Wheat planted was at 8%, compared to 1% last year and 5% for the five-year average. The 4th cutting of alfalfa hay was 77% complete, compared to 54% last year and 65% for the five-year average. The 3rd cutting of other hay was 92% complete, 21% ahead of last year and 10% ahead of the five-year average.
The Between the Rows farmers report an even earlier harvest after the week of hot, dry weather. Here are their reports from Sept. 27.
“It is cloudy and they’re calling for a rain later today or tonight. I’m a little over half done with soybeans and I’m through about a fourth of the corn. Corn moisture is around anywhere from 15% to 22%.
“Everything this year has to do with water holding capacity of the soil. I had one farm with corn where one pass in the field varied from 75 bushels per acre to 235. It was from low black ground to a higher gravelly soil. One of my poorer farms averaged 148 bushels and I will have some farms well over 200 bushels on my good ground. I would probably say things will average out in the 180-bushel range, which is probably average for me. I think most of the corn that we will take out will be below 17%.
“Soybeans are another story. I harvested soybeans that were planted in April and they were record yields. I was excited and then I got into some that were planted at the end of May and I was really disappointed. I think there will be a 20-bushel difference between the April planted beans and the beans planted in late May. The late beans did not get the moisture they needed, but there was zero disease in the beans this year.
“I have about two-thirds of my wheat drilled. It is so dry and it won’t germinate until we get some rain. I started planting on Sept. 22, which is the fly-free date. For the area, there have not been a lot of beans taken out yet. A lot of guys have been working on corn. The beans were planted later and they are not ready yet. We’re two to three weeks ahead of normal harvest.”
“I am half done with beans. Our lowest yield so far has been 50 bushels and most of the beans have been in the mid-60s. We’re pretty happy with that. If we had gotten rain in July, we would’ve had tremendous yields. The beans are very dry, 8% to 10%. I have not seen anyone drilling any wheat yet. Our fly-free date is not until Oct. 2, I believe.
“The corn we have had has been 20% moisture and a little better than 160 bushels. We’re hearing about neighbors running corn that is 13% or drier. We hear all good yields in the 160- to 180-bushel range, which is really good for our area. We’re not used to that much corn down here.
“I think a lot of people have more harvesting done than they thought they would. We’re probably at least two weeks ahead of schedule. We’re still a ways off from finishing, though. Some of our later beans still have a lot of green stems and leaves in them. Even some of the early beans we have been running have green stems, but are down to 9% or 10% moisture.”
The rain today provides a welcome break from the busy harvest. “We are getting some rain today. It has been really dry and this might actually put some moisture back in the beans. It is supposed to rain today and tomorrow. Depending on how much rain we get, we may be able to get back in the fields on Wednesday.”
“We’re over two-thirds done with beans and we just started some corn. We ran 30 acres of test plots for Monsanto. Moisture content has been very dry.
“The beans are running between 10% and 12% moisture. Yield range has been between 45 bushels and 70. I think we’ll shake out around 60 bushels per acre. We had one field that ran 45 bushels and pretty much everything else has been at least in the mid-50s. We’re really pleased with them. We actually had almost too much rain. We had places in the field that were drowned and spots in the beans that were thin because of the water. There was a two-week period there after Memorial Day where we had almost 16 inches of rain.
“Corn has been running better than I thought. There is a lot of water damage though. The high spots are running almost 100 bushels better than some of the low spots. We saw yields from 130 to 250 bushels. I think we’re going to have good corn with good quality. Last year, we had a lot of bushels but we did not have the quality. I think in this area everyone is pretty happy.
“This is one of those years where tiled ground is really showing a difference. We had crops that were under water several times and we still had a crop. That says a lot for what they’ve been able to do with research and genetics. Corn has better drydown and yields too. We’ll have almost no drying costs.
“There is a lot of wheat in already. We did not plant any yet. It is early enough that we are going to keep working on the beans. We’re probably around a month ahead with harvest.”
“Harvest is going fast. I’d say we’re half done with harvest or a little better. We basically have run corn since about the first week of September up until a week ago when we switched to beans.
“The beans are extremely dry, especially the early beans. Our full season beans are barely ready. We have some down under 9%. Early on corn was very dry, and as we got into the fuller season corn we got a little wetter — more like 19% or 20%.
“Yields have been good. Most all of the corn has been in the 160-bushel to 190-bushel range. Some has been a little lower, but the average should be in that range. For beans, we’ve had yields as low as 50 and as high as 60 bushels. The fuller season may get a little bit better as we finish up.
“I think the corn yields are off a little bit from what I thought it could be. I think the rain in May and June really shaved off some of the yield. We couldn’t even sidedress everything. I’ve been disappointed by some fields and surprised by others.
“I think we’re two or three weeks ahead of schedule. We’ve pushed pretty hard we’ve run every day, but we haven’t pushed on the corn very hard. It is going well. We are very dry right now. I don’t want to stop harvesting, but we need this rain. Most of our manure is hauled and everything has been going pretty well. We’ve done some fall tillage and everything is moving right along.”