There is more corn standing out in the field than I thought there should be with the weather we have had. We have had straight runs of fantastic harvest weather. A couple of guys have been telling me that the corn is just too wet. My response to them is that the deer and the raccoons are getting it instead because they don’t mind if it is a little wetter.
I had one guy tell me he was running 11 bushels per acre and then a minute later he was running 240. When you have that kind of variation in yields you are going to have moisture that varies too. There will be corn moisture at 17% up into the 23% or 24% range. When I was a kid we couldn’t get corn below 22%. The new hybrids obviously dry down a lot better than the old ones did. Some never dried down. You could pick them in February and they were still in the mid-20s. I think we are missing the boat leaving this corn standing and waiting on it to dry down.
The corn yields are all about the rain around here. I talked to a guy with two fields split by a road and they normally average within a bushel or two of each other. This year there was a 30-bushel difference. When the moisture is the limiting factor here, it can be really streaky like that and this was a year when moisture was the ultimate controller of yield.
The majority of the beans are off now. Farmers around here planted more beans than normal and it has taken a little longer to get them off. Bean yields are down a little, but not like the corn. With corn you get one shot at getting an ear pollinated and filled up. With soybeans, things can get ugly and if they get a shot of rain they can come back. We see some beans with a good set of beans on the top of the plant better than anything down below, which is not normal.
On Saturday we finished bean harvest, first-crop and double-crop beans. We are pretty happy to be done with bean harvest this early. In 2018, I think it was January before we finished bean harvest. We got all of the wheat and barley planted. We have one more field of grass hay to plant this fall. We are about halfway through the corn harvest.
The last corn we ran was planted in early May and it was still 22% or 23% moisture. This corn is really holding onto the moisture and harvest is going to drag on longer than normal while we are waiting on the dryer. I hope this warm weather has dried the corn some.
All of our beans lived up to expectations. They were very good across the board. The earlier we planted, the better the yield. The first beans we planted yielded 80 and then they dropped off a little bit. But still, the bean yields were phenomenal across the board in any trait platform.
The only beans that maybe didn’t hit their potential were double-crop beans behind the wheat. The double-crop beans behind the barley were planted by June 22 and made 60 to 65 bushels per acre, which is phenomenal. The double-crop beans behind the wheat weren’t planted until around July 4. That made a huge difference in yield. They also did not get late rains that can make a difference. They made 45, which is still really good.
We are really happy with our corn. The earlier corn got hurt by the weather during pollination and the later corn has been better. It is all well over 200 bushels. It has all been 220 to 250 bushels so far.
We had a really good week this past week. We managed to get through most of our beans. We hope to finish up tomorrow with those and move back to corn. We still have 75% of our corn left to harvest.
We have seen a big difference depending on where you are and what spot in the field you are in. We are finishing up in Hardin County. There has been more rain right here and the beans have been consistently in the 60s and even into the 70s. The heavy yielders are leaning a little bit but it hasn’t been a problem.
We started off with great weather. We were delayed the last two weeks of October because we were way too wet. We got started again last Tuesday and have had a really good run since then.
We shelled some early-planted corn on Tuesday and it was 18% or 19% and that was manageable. We haven’t gotten into the later stuff yet. I’m hoping it dried down some in the last week, but a lot of people are telling me to not expect too much. We’ll know here in a couple of days.
The markets keep going up. We are seeing great exports and a lot of demand. It is definitely good to see the green pluses rather than the red. And, no matter who is in the White House and who controls the House and Senate, our issues haven’t changed. We’ll still be advocating for the same things at Ohio Corn & Wheat. The issues are the same and we have a lot of work ahead of us.
I can’t remember a year where we have had this long of stretches of nice weather. Usually we are scrambling to get things done before the rain and that just wasn’t the case this year. It is not what we’re used to at all up here. We finished Thursday afternoon last week. It went well.
It was one of the driest growing seasons on record we have had and the driest since 1988. The beans definitely handled the drought better than the corn, but we still managed to have some respectable corn numbers on our better ground. We have clay subsoil that holds moisture with sandy loam topsoil. That combination is hard to beat and we still managed to grow some productive corn.
The genetics definitely showed up this year and a lot of luck was involved with the good yields. You either got the rain or didn’t and then the timing of the rain was really important based on the growth stage of the corn. We saw significantly higher yields in later season corn because we finally got some rains in August and they still had a lot of growing season left to improve kernel depth and yields. The earlier season corn was too far along for those rains and pollination was at a really stressful time. We had the second hottest July on record for us and that comes with some consequences.
Bean yields were a lot steadier than corn. We saw bean yields from the high 40s up to the 80s. The Lucas County ground did a lot better than our Henry County ground. With corn, the sandier ground has yields in the 140s and we saw yields up to 240 bushels where we got some of those pop-up rains.
It is a lot more fun to farm when corn prices have a 4 in front of them and beans are plus $10. It definitely makes you a lot more optimistic about the upcoming year.