Harvest 2023 is winding down

Lawrence Onweller

It is going slow. The corn planted in May isn’t drying down. It’s still running 24% moisture. The yields are good, but we’re burning through a lot of gas and that part is going slow. The moisture in the corn just doesn’t want to drop, especially the fuller season corn. It just takes a long time to take twice as much moisture out and that’s literally what you’re doing when you’re harvesting 24% corn, you’re taking almost double the amount of moisture out.

With the weather, you’re able to harvest part of the day and then do field work part of the day. We’ve had sprinkles — no large rains in the last couple of weeks — just intermittent rains that haven’t really slowed down harvest. 

We’re seeing a lot of the corn yield in the 220s. That’s really good and the last 3 years it’s been like that. We’ve had those July and August rains and that’s what really does it. 

About half the corn was sprayed with fungicide and there really was not any yield difference between what was sprayed for the tar spot and what was not. The tar spot came in really bad, but it came in September and the corn was far enough along that it didn’t really affect it much.

Soybean harvest is about done and the earlier-planted corn is close to being done in this area. In the last few years, we’ve been able to finish up pretty much the first week or so in November and we’re already behind that by a couple weeks or so with the corn taking so long to dry. Hopefully harvest will be done before Thanksgiving.

Doug Miller

It’s been a great 2023. The weather’s pretty much cooperated and we’re moving right along with harvest. We’re not in the home stretch yet, but we’re not far from it. We got rained out on Oct. 27 and sat until Nov. 1 and then we shelled corn two days and went to cut double-crop beans. We switched back to corn and we have 75 acres of double-crops to go.

The double-crops could have been better. They were 25 bushels. We had some dry weather and I think the frost got them. 

Corn yields are very strong. We haven’t run anything we’ve been disappointed with. So far, 221 bushels has been the low and 247 bushels has been the high. I have heard reports of higher than that around here.

We’re probably running a week to 10 days later than normal on harvest. Beans weren’t ready until later and the corn just wasn’t drying down. I attribute that back to all the smoke-filled days we had during the summer. We just didn’t get as much sunlight as we normally do. We hope to be done by Thanksgiving and if the weather stays on our side, it won’t be an issue.

Wheat looks great. The stands are good and it looks almost like Astroturf out there. So far, the corn stalks are holding up. but we are going to be getting some higher winds here this week it sounds like.

Kyle Nietfeld

We finally had a nice stretch of weather the past week. We are about 75% done with corn and we’ve gotten half the double-crops off. The other field of double-crops was just a little bit on the wet side yet, so we’ve just got 40 acres of double-crop soybeans left. So far, the double-crops did right around 20 bushels, so they weren’t really good, but they weren’t a complete failure either. They were worth doing. 

The moisture in the corn is holding around that 20%, 21% mark. I’ve heard other people saying there’s is still testing 24%, so I think we’re fortunate in that regard. We had one farm in the river bottom with a record yield, but mostly corn has been slightly above average, right around 200 bushels. It’s not been record-setting, but it’s not it’s not a disappointment either.

Harvest is going slow, though, because it is a good crop, so it’s a lot of bushels to move. If the weather cooperates, we’ll still be a good two weeks behind normal by the time everything is done and put away. Hopefully we’ll be done around Thanksgiving. 

The tar spot came in late enough that it didn’t really hurt yield at all. The limiting factor for yields was just the moisture. On the good, dark dirt we had really good corn, but when you get up on the hills and some of the lighter ground, it’s just not yielding as well. 

The wheat is all up and you can row it. It would be nice to have it a little taller here going in the winter, but it’s got a stand established so we should be good going through the winter.

Jeff Magyar

We just finished soybeans yesterday. I would say soybeans are 85% harvested in this area. Corn is maybe 40% harvested. The moisture for the corn is still in the mid- to upper-20% range, especially where fungicides were applied.

I heard about some tar spot in the area, but I haven’t seen any. In some of the neighbor’s untiled ground corn yields were 160 bushels to 180 bushels. We haven’t been in anything that’s been under 200 bushels.

Soybean yields were more of a challenge. Some of our food grade beans were pushing 65 bushels, and with a $4 premium priced off of Chicago, that is pretty good. We also had much lower yields where we missed some rains.

White mold was a real problem with soybean yields in this area and the variety did not seem to matter. South of here yields were 20 to 30 bushels in fields with white mold and it was in areas that have not had white mold problems in the past. 

I think the earlier beans were affected with white mold worse than the later beans, probably due to the flowering time. I know one farm was new ground for agriculture, maybe a 4- or 5-year-old field. It may have had beans on it once before and it had absolutely terrible white mold. You would think there would be no build up of white mold in that field and that it would not be an issue. It is all about the timing of the rains and the flowering. The infection comes from raindrops hitting the ground. It has to enter through the blossom.

The wheat around here went in well and looks good.  

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