Cool weather delaying early start to harvest

Willie Murphy

It had been 9 days since we had a measureable rain. Early Sunday morning we got some rain. That was the first time we went for more than 7 days right here on the south side of Wilmington without a measurable rain since we planted.

Our double-crop beans are still filling some pods and that rain probably helped them. A couple more rains this week will still help them along.

We are not quite done with third-cutting hay. We got a bunch of the alfalfa cut last week. We had a stretch of weather where we could bale hay for 7 days in a row, but we only got about 3 hours a day to bale by the time it got dry and then the dew started coming back up. We need to get the rain to get the alfalfa going again as we head into fall.

I think our crops around here are going to be really good, though I think there will be some pockets that were hotter and drier during pollination that won’t be so good. The earliest crops we have are planted here at the home farm. The beans were planted May 13 and the corn was planted May 14. I’d say 50% of the leaves are still green on the beans and they are a 3.3 maturity. They should be a little further along than what they are. They are maturing slowly. I don’t know if it is from the cool weather or not. The corn is starting to die as well but once you get out in the field it is still pretty green. I think we are at least 2 weeks behind normal. If it would have been hot, things would have matured pretty quickly but it has been cool.

The pastures were really helped by the rain. We have found the taller the grass is heading into the winter, the quicker it will come back in the spring. This weather has been nice for the livestock.

Charlie Kail

We’ve got a variable amount of rain from about 1.7 inches to 5.5 inches. We have been looking at some beans that were late planted and these late rains helped. Those 3.4 or 3.5 beans look fantastic. The earlier beans are starting to lose leaves and shutting down for harvest. Corn silage is probably 50% chopped. A lot of the corn is at black layer and starting to dry down.

We probably have 20% of these crops that were planted later that could still benefit from the rain. It is so streaky here. You can have one field that has 10-foot high corn with big ears and even double-ears and you can go up the road a quarter mile and find corn with dead leaves that has dried up. One farmer told me he was in a field where it wasn’t raining watching it pour on the next field over.

I haven’t heard anyone complain about silage yields. But if you have sandy soil, you just sort of get numb to the fact that if it doesn’t rain it is not going to yield 25 tons per acre and you just know it is going to be 12 to 14 tons when the corn is only shoulder high.

I think we’ll be on a normal time frame for harvest. If harvest gets going soon it won’t be an issue, but the corn stalks are not going to be sturdy in some fields because the ear got the nutrients and the stalks did not. That makes for a weak stalk.

We have been getting some pretty nice hay these last couple of weeks. We have some fields around here that will have their fifth-cutting this week. We are starting to mow our third-cutting grass hay.

We got enough rain that the grass is greening up, but a lot of people have been feeding hay. Without rain we haven’t had grass and these cows just keep on chewing.

Patty Mann

We finally got some rain. We got a little over 3 inches here at the home farm and in some places we got 6 inches. Then we got another nine tenths. It was remarkable how quickly it all went away. We were on the path for an early harvest, but the rain combined with the cool temperatures have slowed things down. We are now maybe 2 weeks or 10 days away from both corn and soybean harvest. We have some early planted corn down to 25% moisture.

We have a lot of beans that were still all green and we think the rain can help fill some of those pods. We have some corn that is still green and it may help there too. Typically we start harvest with beans, and in a perfect world, we would do all our beans before we switch to corn. This year, though, we have an early corn hybrid so we may be switching back and forth between corn and beans as we need. This is one of the few years we have had corn this early and we will definitely be going back and forth to keep things rolling.

The week before it rained, we were very dry and it was unbelievable how quickly things were dying. We have had hit or miss rains all summer.

The last market report was surprising because they already lowered the yield numbers. Beans have gained on price in the last month and corn has been up as well. We have made some sales and we are a little more optimistic about maybe making a little more profit this year.

Jake Heilmann

Now we are finally catching the rains but I don’t think it has done any good for our corn. I hope some of the later maturity beans are taking advantage of it.

I think we’ll start to see some harvest getting started around here later this week. We had a neighbor who tried some soybeans on Saturday and they were at 16% moisture. He decided to give it a little bit longer. I don’t know if we’ll see much this week, but I think definitely by next week and maybe even later this week we’ll get started.

The corn stalks out there seem to be holding up pretty well so far, especially considering what the crop went through this year. I think we got just enough Band-Aid rains through the growing season that they have not cannibalized the stalks too much. It seems to be holding up halfway decent. We did find some tip-back on some ears that we do not like to see, but it is still standing well.

We have been doing hand-shelling moisture checks and the lowest we have found is 24% moisture, so we’ll let the corn keep drying with the nice weather forecast this week.

We have some 2.0 maturity beans planted with the intent of getting them harvested and getting some wheat planted. After we get a couple hundred acres of that done we’ll either continue with beans if it stays fit or we’ll switch the combine over and do corn if we can’t do beans.

We got our tile project wrapped up on Friday and got a little rain over the weekend to kind of settle things. We have that done and now we are rapid-pace trying to get all of our harvest prep done.

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