Crops looking strong as harvest draws near

Joe Everett

It is starting to look a little bit more like fall. The crops are starting to change a lot more and you can tell harvest is right around the corner now. Right around here a lot of the stuff that went in early, especially earlier varieties, are starting to really change. We’re starting to see corn change and beans are changing too, but they seem like they’re a little bit slower, which is kind of surprising. I think corn won’t be far behind the beans. We’re still probably a couple weeks out yet, though, before we do anything here.

We were hurting for rain, but now it seems like the rain won’t shut off. We’ve been getting rain periodically. Last night we got a little over half inch. I think if you go more towards Sydney, they even got a little bit more than we did so the rain has been good.

You’d think with this rain we would have more disease out there, but with the fungicides and everything that we’re doing here on our farm we haven’t noticed too much. Everything is looking pretty healthy, even late, and so I’m really excited to see how this crop turns out.

We’ve been working hard on getting everything ready. Give us another week or two we’ll have everything ready to go to the field. We try to get everything done now because it seems like once harvest is over, winter’s right around the corner so anything that we’ve got to get done we try to get it done now. You never know how long harvest will take. 

We usually run beans first and we typically run quite a few beans, just depending on the moisture of the corn. But if the corn is dry, we like to run some of it too just to help us get our dryer started and get everything going. It’s always nice to run a little bit of both just see what you got out there. 

It seems like this corn is really drying down in the field, which is always a good thing. When you have a lot of wet corn it takes a lot of time just to get that through your facility. I guess we’ll see how that goes once we get in the field.

Ryan Hiser

Some of these crops are really starting to look a whole lot better towards harvest, and that is rapidly approaching. Our early corn is starting to turn colors. We hit black layer about a week ago on some of this stuff and, from what I’ve seen, it still looks pretty good. 

The beans are not quite turning yet, but you see it starting in spots on the leaves.  We haven’t seen a whole plant completely turned brown yet.  

When harvest does come, we’re planning go out and hit all of our seed beans first. But if that is not an option, we’re going out and try to shell some corn to be able to do something.

We ran into a 3-inch rain last weekend in some places around Washington Courthouse. Around here we got about 2.8 to 2.6 inches in some places. It rained again last night. I came back from Kentucky last night they got pounded down there, again. For us, the rain really just slowed down on the loadouts of grain. We’re sweeping out the bottoms of bins right now. Everything is still pretty sturdy so far and is standing well. We really don’t have a lot of crops in low lying areas so we’re in decent shape, even with the big rains.

We’re finishing up day-to-day operations, cleaning stuff up and getting ready to gear up for harvest. Bin-wise we’re down to just finishing up getting rid of the last of the corn and we’ve got a little bit of beans left to go. This week we’re going to try to finish it up the best we can and finish getting equipment ready to go. 

Kurt Wyler

In this area we have been very fortunate. We’ve gotten scattered showers here to help finish out the majority of the crops. Two weeks ago, we made a pretty good run and finished up with all of the dry, small square bales for the year. We were able to get all of barns full so we’re extremely grateful for that. We were able to get in the fields to get our fourth cutting alfalfa baleage off for the milk cows and it looks like it is going to be really nice feed. 

The temperatures have been a lot cooler here. They’ve been getting down into the 50s at night and the livestock are definitely enjoying that. The cows are a lot more comfortable compared to the hot, humid weather they had been dealing with. Happy cows definitely make our lives easier.

We did think we would be chopping slightly earlier than we are, but with the cooler, damp weather here it’s kind of slowed down. We did have plenty of silage left over, so that’s not really an issue. We didn’t want to jump the gun and lose any feed value by running too early. We generally don’t like to start until the milk line on the kernel is at least halfway down. We do have processor on our chopper so the kernels can get a little drier, but the moisture content of the whole plant definitely plays a big role as to the optimum time to start chopping. Our plants have been a little too green. If we would have chopped, we could have gotten into some very juicy silage and it could have soured on us. If the plants get too dry, we can lose some of the digestibility. There can be a fine line on when to start chopping. We do plan on starting today.

We did see some diseases starting in the corn but it was late enough that we really didn’t think that we needed to do anything about them. On our hill ground we didn’t see very much disease at all. It was mainly just in the bottoms. In our beans, we didn’t see hardly any disease. The majority of our beans are turning quite a bit. We generally like to start running some of our early beans the first week up October. It’s definitely time to make sure that combines are ready go, but we always have about 1,000 jobs that we could do for the day on the dairy farm.

Nathan Birkemeier

Things are shaping up really well we’re continuing to get rain just about every week if not a couple times a week. Everything is filling out nicely. The beans have a lot of pods on them filling out. We’re going to have pretty big beans this year. I think even with the later planting, this extra rain is really making a world of difference. 

The corn is looking really good. Some of it is starting to mature and starting to dent. Kernels are starting to fill out. We’re really excited to see what this year is going to bring. Everything just looks really good. I think with all the with all the struggles that we had early on, the extra rain and the nice weather that we have been having are making up for it. 

Enough of the beans are going be far enough along that if we get a couple more weeks without a frost, then we’ll really see good bushels this year. Some of the beans look like they’re starting to turn. And, as far as the beans go in this area, we haven’t seen much disease at all.

For harvest, we’ll pick the fields one at a time and go as hard as we can make sure we can keep the dryer full when we get into corn. Planting was stretched out a little bit, but some of the stuff was planted in a tight window so a lot of the fields will come on around the same time. Other fields are going to be a little spotty here and there just depending on what fields took on a little more water. I think this harvest is really going to take some patience to make sure we’re not too early and picking up a lot of wet beans in this area. We really need to make sure the whole field is ready to go.

It would be nice to see the rain start to taper off in the coming weeks. I think if the rain continues, we will have a really interesting fall. It’s going to be a lot of pick-and-choose depending on where most of the rain has been. It’d be nice to see a couple months of dry weather. We’ll see what Mother Nature has offer.

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