Dry Weather Hastens, Complicates Harvest
Scarce to nonexistent rains and soaring temperatures helped dry down fields and open them to harvest, but the effect may have been excessive, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. What little rain did fall was confined to the northeastern part of the state. There were 6.8 days available for fieldwork for the week ending October 1, 2017. The average moisture content of soybeans harvested was 12 percent, but had fallen much lower in some areas. Some growers decided to wait until rain could add some moisture back before harvest. Other growers proceeded with harvest, taking measures to minimize shattering and splits. There were multiple reports of combine fires, underscoring the challenges of what has become a very dry season. Despite the challenges, many are reporting better than expected yields. Moisture content of corn harvested over the week, at 22 percent, remained fairly high. Harvest progress estimates indicate that the focus has been on soybeans. In either case, the wide variation in maturity for both crops also pose a challenge to the timing of harvest operations this year. Wheat planting continued with many growers opting to “dust in” the crop. Pasture conditions continued to decline, and some livestock operations have gone to feeding hay.