Between the Rows November 7, 2011

“Soybean harvest is winding down but corn harvest is just starting around here. We just finished up with the soybeans last night. We’re thinking of maybe shelling the May corn, but there is only about 100 acres of that. The ground conditions have not been conducive for harvest. There have been people cutting ruts and getting stuck on the sand ridges.

“I feel kind of sheepish that I was complaining about the late planting and the dry summer because soybeans are above average yields from the low 40s to the low 60s. The late-planted beans and corn took advantage of the August and September rains and missed the heat during pollination. That is not normal that the late-planted beans and corn will out yield the crops planted in April and May. I do think the genetics had something to do with it too. The May corn has yields as low as 60 bushels because it didn’t get rain and it pollinated in that heat. The May soybeans did not seem to be hurt like that.

“The soybean moisture has been between 12% and 14%.The elevator has been seeing anything from 18% to 32% moisture in corn. The May corn is 18% to 23% and the June corn is anything from 22% to 32%. Around 90% of the corn in the county is June corn. We’re still hoping for that Indian summer. We got an ear from the field and it was around 25%.

“My usual goal is Thanksgiving to be done with corn, and we’ve still got some time. We can shell all of our corn in 10 days and we have a week’s worth of odd jobs here, so we’re not is a hurry to shell this corn. It is still standing really well.

We’ve been making really good progress. There have been some ruts here and there but nothing major. We can probably be done in a day and a half or two. They’re calling for rain Tuesday night or Wednesday. As long as nothing goes wrong, we should get done before that. Corn is drying fast at the dryer and things are going well. The corn has been anywhere from 17.5% moisture to 21%.

“We went west and thought the corn yields would drop where we had less rain, but so far they’ve been anywhere from 170 to 190 bushels. It just depends where we got a little shower and where we didn’t. The yields will average out around 180 or 185, which was a lot better than what we thought it would be. We’ve had a few hybrids that were laying down more than normal, but we were able to pick them up pretty easily.

“We were lucky in the southern part of the county to get the rains this year when a lot of others didn’t, but I attribute a lot of the yield to the genetics. It gets drier four miles north of us and I know guys around Greenville that have run a lot of 90- to 150-bushel corn. Just north of us, 150 bushels catches a lot of it.

“The soybeans were all really consistent no matter what type of soil we were on. We averaged right around 56. They got down to about 10% moisture, and we got that rain and we finished up around 13% moisture.

“We are doing about 100 acres of tiling this year to get done, we’ve got some tillage to get done and we have 400 acres of chicken litter to put on yet. We’ve been using that for six years now, and that has helped our yields too.”

“We have left some tracks in a few fields but we didn’t cut any ruts. Things are looking good right now and I don’t think we’re supposed to get too much rain on Wednesday.

“We’re going to wrap up beans in two days and then finish up the corn in a week or two. I’m halfway done with my corn. I have neighbors who are further along than that. We had a good 10 days here to work. Over the weekend people were hauling crops in to keep things going.”

The yields have been a pleasant surprise since harvest started. “The combine monitor is showing 60-plus bushels on our beans. The corn is doing better than I expected too. We’re seeing a lot of 170-plus bushels.”

“The beans are too dry now. I have heard about some 16% corn out there. I haven’t seen any of that yet. All the corn I have harvested has been in the 20s. We haven’t had anything too severe so far with problems of corn standing up. I have been hearing reports of good yields in the area. We were blessed with water this year around here.”

We finished up beans Saturday morning. We still have about 1,000 bushels in the farm truck and the gravity wagons. We ran anywhere from the lower 40s to over 60 bushels. We’ll average around 50 or 55 bushels and we’re really happy with that. We had some beans that were on some tougher ground this year and they were still pretty decent. The field that was over 60 bushels was the first one planted. That just tells you that planting earlier is better. Most of the beans were 12% to 14% moisture. We had some running 11% that we ran into town. We had some up to 16% or 17%, though.

“We started running corn and we have about 50 acres off. The last corn was 28% moisture coming out of the field, and the dryer is slowing us down. We had some around 21% or 22%. I doubt we’ll get a whole lot under 20%. We had some corn going down, but most of it is still standing OK. We’ve seen yields in the 160s and 180s in the corn we’ve shelled so far.

“We started planting wheat on Friday and we’ve gotten in 90 acres so far. We want to get another 60 or 70 acres planted. We’re working on that right now. We’re also starting the fourth cutting hay. It is late, but there is too much alfalfa to leave out there. We’re keeping busy. We’re just going to wrap it in silage bales. We’re fortunate we finally got some dry weather to get some work done.”

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