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Harvest starts, but it isn’t ‘full speed ahead’

unloading grain Kyle Stackhouse
We still hope for a decent corn crop but dry weather will shrink expected soybean yields.

Six weeks ago I fully expected to have a very early start to harvest. This spring, right at the outset of planting, we filled the tank with short season corns and planted a couple hundred acres. Everything got off to a pretty good start. Heat and timely rains continued to push the crop along.

Then August came, and cool temperatures slowed everything down.

Now we’re pretty much on track for a ‘normal’ start date (September 20-25). We picked about 40 acres of corn this week just to make sure everything was working. The ten-acre field was where we tested our planter and made adjustments. Another 30-acre field was a dryland field that struggled with emergence (an exception to the norm this year).

What about yields?

One field looked to be bringing in average yields, the other 15% below normal. However, from those two fields, no conclusions can be extrapolated to the rest of the acres. We are still holding hope for a good corn harvest. But we hold no such expectations for soybeans as we are forecast another two weeks of dry weather.

We poked our head into three other fields looking to continue harvest. All of those sites tested over 30% moisture. We generally hope to start in the 25% range as corn needs to be dried to 15%. As a result, we hope for some warmth, sun, and a GENTLE breeze this weekend. We plan to harvest the early corn next week in order to meet our quick ship timetable for corn promised by the end of the month for chicken feed.

I would expect we will have a little break after our harvest flurry next week. However, for a few years, I’ve had a couple strings of tile in mind for one of the fields. Late next week may be good opportunity to get that job done. We will also consider sewing cover crops and some tillage work.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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