Rains slow harvest progress

Charlie Kail

We’ve gotten around 1.5 inches of rain in the last few days. The rains slowed things down. Most people were running beans. I’d say beans are 60% to 70% off. Corn has been coming off in the 17% moisture range, but there is a lot more short season corn planted today than what there was 20 years ago. We are trying to get the corn off ahead of the deer. When the deer run out of green grass after it frosts a couple of times, then they start working on the corn. In areas with a lot of deer pressure, they are planting 97- or 95- day corn to get it off. If they don’t, they’ll be riding along and just watching corncobs go into the header.

Corn yields are everywhere from 35 bushels per acre to 200 around here and that can be in the same pass in the same field. Moisture has been the big culprit. Weed control looks to be pretty good in general. Waterhemp has not been a big problem here yet. Marestail is still the weed problem around here. I say if you can’t control marestail now, then when waterhemp gets here you should just quit. Waterhemp and Palmer are a whole lot more aggressive than marestail. The XtendiMax problem last June messed up what a lot of guys wanted to do and there were some issues with that, but for the most part the fields are pretty clean around here.

There has been more northern corn leaf blight than we have seen in the last couple of years. When fungicides were applied there was some response. If you shut down half the leaf with a fungus on there, you lose your top end yield pretty easy.

There has been a lot of rye planted, a lot of wheat planted and a lot of cover crops went in this fall. The rain has kicked the pastures back into gear but there are still a lot of guys feeding hay.

Patty Mann

We have been at a standstill for the last week. We got about 3 inches total. Some farms had even more than that. It has been cloudy and overcast and it has just been too wet to do anything so we are playing the waiting game.

Before that we had quite a few good days in a row. We’re probably two-thirds of the way through the beans and we have a fair amount of corn shelled as well. We’d really like to get the beans finished up the next chance we get.

We have had some really good beans so far. We have mainly cut our 2.9 and 3.0 beans with our 3.4s and 3.5s yet to go and they sure look good. I think yields will continue to improve as we move into our later planted beans and our later maturing beans. We have seen some tall beans that are leaning a bit. We haven’t seen any lodging yet.

We took a few acres of corn that were around 27% moisture. It sounds like we could get some warm weather and have another good run of harvest weather and that will hopefully get a little more moisture out of it. We’re getting closer to November and, as we have seen in the past, once you get into November, it is hard to get corn to dry down much more.

With the inverted carry in the soybean market now we have chosen to move some more beans out at harvest. We have taken advantage of this wet weather to get a bunch moved out to make room for corn. We usually don’t see this strength at harvest time, but we’ll take it. It is good to see prices where they are.

Jake Heilmann

We got more done this last week than I thought we would. We were on the lower end of the rainfall total and we are progressing slowly towards the finish line.

We got 1.9 inches out of the whole week. We’d get a half inch or less at a time. We were so dry before that we never saw water sitting and we were able to continue most of our work. The rains also softened up the ground from the drought this summer that was especially hard.

We finished beans late last Saturday before the rains started. Yields were not as good in our high sands, but when it was all said and done it was about 6% over our rolling five-year average, which is not too shabby considering how dry it was. Our lows were in the mid-40s and the highs were in the mid-80s. It was quite a swing there.

Early on, corn moisture was hanging in the mid- to low-20% range, but in the last 2 weeks even our fuller season corn is below 20% and we’re happy with that. Yesterday we got into our first field with some downed corn. On Friday Oct. 23 we had a pretty big wind event and we had the field already opened up. It was a particularly tall hybrid with pretty good yield. All of those factors combined and the corn went down in spots, but we were able to get it picked up.

We had some issues with johnsongrass coming in the sand hills where the crops didn’t canopy very well. Fields were a little greener than we are used to but I don’t think it will be difficult to control moving forward.

We are definitely down below our average yields for corn. We have seen a range of corn yields from as low as 140 on up to 220. We have some really high yellow sands and they just couldn’t hold up. The yield is definitely down, but it is not as a big of a disaster as I thought it could be. We will end up a just a couple percentage points below average on the corn.

Willie Murphy

We are making progress, but it has been a little slow. We were able to get work done from Oct. 9 to Oct. 17, but then from Sunday night through last week we got about 3 inches of rain. It was nice to help bring our pasture back a little bit and get some water in the ground. We did get the wheat planted before most of the rain.

On Saturday morning Oct. 10, I went and checked our well for the cattle and the shop, and we were out of water. We had to haul about 5,000 gallons of water. I knew the water table was pretty low, but I hadn’t figured on hauling water in October. We’ve have had to haul water before, but it has been a few years. Some people are not happy about the rain but I am glad we got it, sort of.

Before the rain, we had made excellent progress with bean cutting. We’re about 65% done with the beans. Bean yields have still been phenomenal. Even in fields where it had been a little drier, the yields were just as good. We haven’t run any bad fields of beans, except for one field that was dry this summer.

We have seen yields range from 65 to 80 bushels over the whole farm. We have not had anything average under 65 bushels with Liberty beans, non-GMO beans, dicamba beans on all kinds of soil types — they’ve all done well. We have seen a little better beans on the tiled ground. The places where you’d think they’d make 45 they’ve been making 65.

We raise barley and planted double-crop beans after we ran it on June 18. We were running some beans close by and thought we’d try them. They made 65 bushels. They looked good all summer and they caught some timely rains. We planted a high population and they were phenomenal. We’ve never had double-crop beans over 60.

We’re about 25% done with the corn. The driest farm we had all summer still made 200-bushel corn. Yields have been strong, but corn down here has been slow to dry down and it can make it hard to make much progress.

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