2014 Between the Rows

Jed Bower, 2014 wrap up

I was pretty pleased this year but we had yields all over the board.

There are always hybrids that stand out and there are always some that need some more tweaking. My biggest frustration has been with my own herbicide program and I am going with all Liberty beans in 2015 for that reason. As I talk to the seed reps and other farmers, it seems that in our area there is a slow switch going in that direction.

The past few years have been extremely exciting in agriculture and we might be going through some tougher times, but there are still many opportunities and new things coming on the technology side. I am sticking with Roundup corn next year. Then in 2016, I will be looking at the Duo with Dicamba and Roundup.

I have stayed loyal to spreading all the maturities out and this year we had 103-day corn clear to 115-day corn.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, 2014 wrap up

We’ve discussed planting all corn next year. I don’t think we’ll do that, but I don’t think the corn crop is as big as they say it is in our area. There were a lot of bean acres out there this year and this area may end up corn deficient by next fall. We may plant some early corn to take advantage of that. We planted all beans this year and you can’t blame the varieties for not performing under the conditions we had this season.

We are planting some more food grade beans for tofu next year. This was our first year growing them. It is a big bushy bean and on some of our better soils we may go with 30-inch rows and space them out a little more. The food grade yields were as good or better than some of our Roundup varieties, which I was pleased with.… Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, 2014 wrap up

There were three or four different companies and several varieties that yielded really well for us. There were some others that yielded well but had low test-weights. I have been debating going with conventional corn, but I still think we are going to go with Genuity VT Double PRO next year.

Our beans ended up a little below average for us this year. Planting date is the biggest thing I noticed this year for the corn. We finished June 1 and most of the time the first planted stuff is the best and that was the case this season. Some of our later corn was not nearly as good as our first corn. We definitely saw that trend with the yields. The range between our best corn and worst corn was phenomenal this year. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Our corn still averaged north of 200 but I don’t know exactly where we will end up.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, 2014 wrap-up

It was a very good year and there are a lot of varieties that show a lot of promise. In that aspect, I almost like an adverse year to better judge some of these hybrids. Some of them may fall flat on an adverse year. I don’t think we will be making any wholesale changes on hybrids but I am going to try a couple of new ones that have shown some promise that have been around for a couple of years. There were two or three varieties that I have increased by 20% to my seed order over this year.

I have backed off on some of the rootworm traits. We have done a pretty good job suppressing that, though I will still have some in my lineup. The refuge really complicates seeding programs. We did take a hard look at the economics too and whether the cost was worth the trait.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, Nov. 24

All of the snow is gone again. We had some bizarre blizzard weather there for a while, but it is around 60 degrees here today.

Overall corn harvest is pretty well completed around here, but there is still a little out there. We’re having a little run of corn this morning at the elevator. The later planted beans got hit with all of that water and they weren’t very good. The corn yield suffered from hybrid selection decisions about planting later corn. We are seeing lower test weights in the later corn too.

I think yields were a little bit below average, but not far below. We saw a variety of diseases that we don’t always see in this area. We haven’t had any problems with marestail and we are starting to see that floating around the edges of the fields.

I think for sure we are between the 150- and 200-bushel range for corn in this area, probably around 175 bushels.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, Nov. 24

We finished everything before the snow. Everything was done before any real inclement weather and we finished on a good note.

Corn was fantastic. For us it was a new farm average record. Soybeans had a couple of fields with some stand issues due to early rains this spring. Those brought our average back down into our normal range, but we did have some outstanding soybeans as well.

We had corn field averages anywhere from 228 bushels on down to around 175 bushels. The beans had highs in the mid 60s and the fields with stand issues were down in the mid-40s. The corn definitely surprised me, but it makes sense looking back on it. We didn’t have a lot of stress at pollination and when we were getting critically dry we had some really nice rains the first week of August. I think that helped the corn more than I had imagined in terms of kernel fill and maintaining the kernel counts that pollination had given us.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Nov. 24

It looks like harvest has wrapped up for most people in the area. You still see a few pockets of corn out, but things are dwindling down. There are some cover crops in the area that are coming on strong if they got them out early. The wheat is coming on nicely for the guys that got it in early.

Cover crops are not new, but they are for many people. There are still a lot of people who think they are a trend that will go away in a couple of years. In my opinion, the biggest problem with cover crops is the timing. It is so hard for us to get them out early enough to allow them to get proper growth before they get a freeze. I have looked into them and the cost of aerial application or specialized equipment is a little limiting right now. As new technology comes on, I think we may see an increase in cover crops in the next few years.… Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, Nov. 24

We still have about 60 acres to do. We had a bad breakdown on our grain setup and we couldn’t get things wrapped up. And, we needed extra help on our manure side and that slowed us up too. We just need part of a day to finish up.

I am concerned with this wind today in the corn. It won’t be good. It has been standing well so far. I am hoping it is still standing after today.

The snow shut us out for a little while but we got back into it on Saturday. Some of our later corn was not nearly as good as our first corn. We definitely saw that trend with the yields. The range between our best corn and worst corn was phenomenal this year. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Our corn still averaged north of 200 but I don’t know exactly where we will end up.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Nov 10

We finished everything up a couple of weeks ago for harvest. We’re cleaning stuff up and putting things away. We are spreading some lime and some fertilizer and looking at fall herbicide applications. We have some tile we want to put in and some fencerows to clean up.

We’re holding off on the herbicide application and waiting on this weather. My goal last year was to fall apply herbicide, but it got really wet and we didn’t get it on. This will be the first year we have done it. Around here, the guys that did get their herbicide on last year had pretty good results this year.

The corn number ended up being better than I expected for us. Overall it was really good. The soybeans might have been a touch lower than what I was hoping for, but still very good. Yield wise, that helped us out going into these lower prices.… Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, Nov. 10

We are still shelling corn we have 700 acres to go and some cold weather coming. The earlier planted corn in May was shocking with yields and we have been very happy. Maybe it is just the farm, but now we are seeing an 80-bushel difference in the later corn. Our earlier corn averaged in the mid 240s. The stuff we are shelling now is 21.5% moisture.

We are done with beans. Everything around home was in the low to mid 60s for an average, but as we went north we saw some lower yields. We had one farm that, in six weeks, only got a tenth of an inch of rain and it showed. It was horrifying. It only averaged 35 bushels. Our beans ended up a little below average for us at 54.5 bushels.

We have made some pretty decent progress in the corn. The stalks are decent, but so far we have not seen problems.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, Nov. 10

We should be done with beans today, which I am happy about. We don’t have any corn, so we’ll be finished with harvest. We have about 150 acres left. We had some of this stuff that was planted late, replanted, got rained on and got replanted again. So, we had a couple of fields that didn’t make you feel good to be out there. There is no white mold in these late fields, just no beans. That’s bad. Our yields should be right about the national average, probably in the high 40s.

We are done with harvesting the food grade beans and they actually yielded better than the Roundup Ready beans. We really didn’t have any weed issues with either one. That food grade bean is a robust, big bean.

At the elevator we are seeing that the beans are just about done in this area. They are just getting into corn really well now.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, Nov. 10

We are shelling corn as we speak. We have been making progress, but the weather has been hit or miss. Saturday night we got a shower and we have been getting nuisance rains on and off. Field conditions are not terrible, though, and we are not mudding up the fields yet. But, we have to manage what field we are prioritizing and it is a scheduling nightmare.

We are looking at what varieties are standing and which ones are not. I attacked the fields that had stalk issues first. We are hitting the corn pretty hard and I think we caught the worst fields before they got too bad. If the stalks were breaking off, it was right above the ear. Another couple of weeks and we would have seen problems.

We are close to 80% done now. We finished soybeans a week or so ago. Some fields never really recovered from moisture stress, but overall I was very pleased.… Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, Oct. 27

We have made some pretty decent progress. We still have 500 acres of beans and quite a bit of corn to go. There is only one person in the area I know of who is done. Beans are probably 70% done and corn is maybe at 35% or 40% around here.

The bean yields have been pretty decent. I have heard a range from 45 to a field that averaged 80 bushels. They are better than what I was anticipating.

The later planted corn is still running 30% moisture. There are some fields doing well and some not so good. I have heard of fields running from 125 bushels up to 270 bushels.

We have some corn fields where we are losing the tops and it looks like it could go down. We are not going to get to that corn before this rain. We are behind. I wish we were done with our beans.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Oct. 27

Earlier this morning we thought we would be done today, but now I don’t know that we’ll be done before the rain. We have 100 acres to go. We ran 20 feet and we are done for the day.

We fought beans for a couple days on moisture but yesterday they came down really nicely and were running much better than they had been. Yields have been average to good. Yields around here have been in the upper 50s and we have been seeing some pretty consistent 60s and some 70s, but when you hit the holes, yield drops off pretty quickly.

We finished corn a couple of weeks ago. It ended up doing very well. There were spots this year that did worse than last year but there were places that did better. There were some varieties that normally do really well that didn’t do well this year. Things will probably end up around 190 or 200 bushels around here and I think most everyone is pretty happy with the corn.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, Oct. 27

Finally, the push is on. We have really only been harvesting soybeans for about two days, but they were huge days. We ran until 1 in the morning Saturday night and as long as conditions would allow us last night.

The wind has really brought the moisture down on the beans. When we started we were taking off 15.5% moisture beans and last night they were down to around 12.5% moisture.

We actually started corn on Monday last week. Beans were still at 18% or 19% because of the rain we had gotten. We switched over to soybeans mid-day on Thursday, then we got some heavy dews and we only had short windows of harvest until Saturday.

Soybeans are yielding anywhere from the mid-50s on up to the mid-60s with some reports around here in the 70s. Field averages are 62 or 63 and in the tougher fields they are in the mid-50s.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, Oct. 27

The bean harvest is probably 50% or 60% done. Some of the fields that got white mold are not doing so well, but the good fields that did not get it are in the 60s or maybe bumping 70 bushels.

Our food grades are yielding well too, but we had one field almost completely wiped out. We are down to the last third of our harvest, but it has been slow up until the last three or four days. We have had bean moistures from 27% on down to 11%.

The fields with white mold will drop down to 15 or 20 bushels. The stems are rotten and if the dust is blowing the wrong way you can’t see the machines out in the fields. There is something you can spray to neutralize that spores and we are going to try that. I think the problem is more about planting dates and when the flower was in bloom and conditions were right.… Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, Oct. 6

We have a lot more corn done than beans. We have a couple hundred acres of beans done and around 650 acres of corn done. I was surprised when I got into it that the corn was as dry as it was. The moisture in the corn has been running anywhere from 22% to 25.5%. It is still a little wet, but I am running it due to the fact that we have to keep going. We keep getting little showers that have been keeping us out. We are supposed to get more showers today.

We still have more green stems in pockets in the beans and it has been tough cutting, so we have kept running corn. There is such a range in our corn. We have some tremendous yields and then we have the wet holes that just kill you. Tile is going to pay big time this year.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, Oct. 6

Harvest is just getting started. We did some test cuts late last week and got a semi load. The food grades are still a little wet. They were 15% and 16% moisture and they need to be 13% or 14%. They are getting close and now I am going to check some of the first field we planted.

There has been no frost in the area yet. One farmer up here is two or three weeks ahead of everyone and they have been hitting it hard. At the elevator we have taken in around 15,000 or 20,000 bushels from this area. There are some 30-inch row beans cut and those fields looked pretty good. There have been soybean yields from 35 to 65 bushels with an average in the 45- to 50-bushel range based on the early indications. Everybody has their own special field they always harvest first that did the best and that is the only one they want to talk about.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Oct. 6

I am backing the combine in the barn right now. It is raining. We had a little shower one day last week when we got a tenth or so, but that didn’t really stop progress.

The yields are pretty decent, but we are seeing yields from 0 to 300 on corn. There are holes out there and there are places where the yields are excellent. The beans are pretty good, probably averaging in the upper 50s. They are at 9% and 10% moisture and the stems are still green and they still have leaves on them. They have been that way for a couple of weeks. They are just terrible to run.

The corn moisture has really come down. For the better part of the week we have been shelling corn that is 18% moisture or less. Everything has been moving along pretty good in this part of the world. There might even be a few people who are done with corn.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, Oct. 6

There has been some harvest activity in the neighborhood, but our crops are slow to mature. We may still be a week away, even with good weather. And, everyone who has been running has been battling green stems. The beans are dry but the stems are still green. This happens to some extent every year but this may be the worst it has been in a while.

And, the daily harvest window has been short so far this year. There has been haze or fog until the early afternoon just about every day and you can’t run until then. Nobody is making very fast progress. I am ready to get out there. We have double and triple checked the machinery.

It got fairly cold but we did not get much of a frost if any. The coldest we got was in the low 40s or upper 30s.

I will still try to get wheat in.… Continue reading

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