Between the Rows-October 24, 2011

“Yesterday we started cutting beans at 2:30 in the afternoon and we cut until 2:30 at night. The rain was coming so we moved home. It was just barely acceptable and that was on our sand ground. We’re half done on beans and they are yielding very well. We’re at least going to have average yields on soybeans. They have a lot of pods and the beans have good size to them. We’re seeing yields anywhere from 40 to 60 and it doesn’t seem to vary in relationship to the height of the beans. We haven’t had anything under 42 bushels and we’ve gotten as high as 60.

“There has been almost no corn shelled in this area as most of it was planted in June. We have good kernel length in corn and with all of the grain in the silage, we’re thinking our corn might be respectable. We were guessing that our silage would have made 160- or 170-bushel corn, which would be average.

“We finished chopping that corn for silage a week ago for a local dairy. As bad as the corn looked this summer, we averaged 19 tons per acre, which is normal. There was a lot of grain in the silage, which is a good indicator of yields for commercial corn. We finished chopping corn at six in the morning a week ago and it rained 3 inches after that. It has been wet since then.

There has been very little wheat planted in the area with a slow bean harvest and the wet weather. Also, it doesn’t look like crop insurance will pay this year, which is a blessing in disguise. Last year at this time we had finished everything by Oct. 16. We haven’t done any of the spraying we need to do either. We are way behind.”

“We shelled about 80 acres of corn yesterday. We only got 2.5 inches out of the rain we got last Tuesday and we were able to get back in. We’re maybe half done with corn and we have about two days of beans to go — we may be 90% done with beans. Beans have been really consistent. It doesn’t matter where we go. They’ve all been between 54 and 63 bushels. I think our average is right at 57 so far and I think we’re going to hold on to that.”

Corn yields have been more variable. “The farther north we go, the closer we get to the 175-bushel range. We’re seeing that in the south too. Right here where I live we’re seeing 180 to a little over 200, but that stretch isn’t very wide. We got a couple of tenths this morning, but the sun has been out for a couple of hours now. We could be in right now, but we’re working on a couple of grain bins. It looks like it will be nice tomorrow and then rain Wednesday and Thursday, but then get nice for the weekend again.

“I think most guys around here still have a day or two of beans to do yet. Some are just getting started with corn and some are almost done with corn.

“This is miserable today. I’m just messing around here on the farm in the rain. We got rained out last week and started harvesting again yesterday. The beans weren’t quite dry yet, but we ran pretty late last night. The fields weren’t all that bad. We had 2.8 inches, where up further north they had 4 inches or so. There were quite a few people shelling corn around here yesterday.

“I am maybe around 30% done with harvest. I’m not halfway yet, that’s for sure. It is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I am hoping to get back in the fields then; it might be in corn.

“The beans are doing really well here, somewhere around 60 bushels or the mid-60s. It is turning out to be a good bean year. We haven’t harvested any corn in the last 10 days or so. The combine did sit for several days with the rain.

“Some of this later-planted corn has spindly and tall stalks. A little bit of it is starting to break over because the stalk quality is not there. I am concerned about the weather. If we start getting snow we are in big trouble.

“We had a pretty good frost in some spots. I kind of missed our fall. It seems like we went from summer into late fall.”

The stalk quality really just depends on the hybrid. There are some fields still standing like trees, while some fields are pretty ugly. Out of all of our ground, there may be a couple hundred acres that are pretty ugly, but other than that, the rest is standing pretty well.”

“I think we ended up with about 2 inches of rain last week. We got in the field yesterday for five or six hours. We maybe shouldn’t have run yesterday, but it is getting late and it was not too bad. There really were not problems with ruts. The soybean moisture was quite a bit higher after the rains.

“We might be able to get out again this afternoon if the rain stops and the sun comes out.

We may be two-thirds done with the beans. We finished chopping corn, but we haven’t started harvesting any other corn yet. At this point, I think we’re going to try to finish the beans before starting with corn. So far, it looks like everything is still standing well. We were down to the last six rows in the field with chopping and it was really windy last Monday. At some places it just went right over, so we are concerned about the corn standing.”

Wheat planting is also a growing concern as time is running out. “We got over the ground with the AerWay where we chopped corn and we got the fertilizer on it to plant wheat. Dad got two rounds across the field and got rained out. We have maybe a half-acre of wheat planted. We’ll still plant into early November if the weather cooperates.

“We’re just working with the weather like everybody else is. This is starting to remind me of the spring. We’ll just keep working on the days we can.”


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