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Harvest 2021 is slowly grinding to an end

Kyle Stackhouse Farm field scene with standing corn
HARVEST CONTINUES: Harvest may be complete elsewhere but not here in Northern Indiana, as this photo proves.
The number of ‘good’ days left to harvest is dwindling as weather continues to hamper progress.

Harvest 2021 has not gone the way many hoped it would. Action began in early September. Multiple rain delays led to weeks out of the fields. Harvest is still not complete.

This is not an isolated situation in northern Indiana. I have done a lot of driving the last couple of weeks, and unharvested corn and soybeans can be seen frequently on any trip. I don’t know what the official number is, but I would estimate 10-15% of the crop is still in the fields.

Many operators are down to the last two or three fields. Those with soybeans or down corn need several days of sun and a nice breeze in order to get back in. Dad likes to tell the story of cutting soybeans on February weekends when he was home from college. I doubt we’re at that point yet, but the wet lake effect snow we had last weekend pretty much made it clear there would be little work done this week in these fields.

The snow melted off Tuesday followed by rain through Wednesday evening. I did see a couple combines moving through standing corn during the interim. Field conditions are slippery, but the value of the crop dictates farmers do everything they can to get it brought in. Everyone knows that the number of ‘good’ days is dwindling.

Since early in the harvest season, tillage in our area has been stalled. At this point, I’m not sure it is all weather related. I think some farmers are making the choice to save the fuel and lean toward no-till next year.

Planting of cover crops is also down. Uncertainty surrounding the glyphosate market made guys ask themselves if they wanted to spend $15 an acre to terminate the cover crop in the spring. Apparently the answer was ‘NO’. We still planted some acres, but are mulling over the best termination method come spring time.

The rest of this week will consist of office work and meetings.

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