November 13, 2013
“This field is running 120 bushels an acre,” said Mitch Wanzek, Windsor, N.D., as I rode with him while he combined corn today.
“This summer we didn’t think it would make 20 bushels per acre,” he added.
On their farm in central North Dakota near Jamestown, they had too much rain early, which delayed emergence and even washed some corn seed out of the furrows on the slopes. Then it stopped raining and stayed dry for much of the summer.
“The rain we got in August really made corn,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing.”.
Mitch Wanzek unloads corn on-the-go into the cart operated by his uncle.
The corn that Mitch, his father, Randy, and uncle, Ron, were harvesting on Wednesday was an 88-day Wensman hybrid. It was about 20% moisture and they were running it through a high-temperature propane dryer before putting it into a bin.
“We were shut down a couple days because we were short of propane,” Mitch said, referring to the shortage that occurred throughout much of the eastern Dakotas. “But we’re getting enough now.”
On a trip from Fargo to Minot to Bismarck and back to Fargo this week, I saw a lot of corn still in the field and not a lot of combining. Much of the corn is said to still be too wet to combine, about 25-29%.
The National Ag Statistics Service reported that as of Friday, Nov. 10, North Dakota’s corn harvest was 64% complete. South Dakota’s corn harvest was 79% complete. Last year, corn harvest was done by now. This year’s harvest pace is closer to the 5-year average in both states.
“We’re hoping to be done by Thanksgiving,” Mitch said.
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