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Harvest Slows Waiting on Weather, Drier Corn

Harvest Slows Waiting on Weather, Drier Corn
Some elevators pull incentives to get corn in early.

The flurry of activity in areas where corn was drier because it was severely impacted by the drought slowed last act. Several reasons seemed to be at play. First, some elevators that had offered deals to get farmers to bring corn in because they had markets for early corn apparently filled their needs and removed the deals.

For example, one elevator was not docking corn below 25% as an incentive to get corn in early. That elevator discontinued that offer early last week. Corn received now is docked according to the regular moisture schedule.

Second, rains finally hit a broader area, bringing an inch or more to areas that had not had an inch total for weeks. The rains were still inconsistent, but more areas seemed to pick up rain. That and cloudy weather following the rains, then a cool snap, slowed maturity of some corps, particularly soybeans.

Third, it didn't take long for farmers with poor crops to run the fields that matured early. One farmer reports running two days on one tank of fuel in his combine. His best yield on more than 200 acres was a small field that made 45 bushels per acre. This is on land that is sub-par, and subject to droughty conditions.

As a result, many people who started early have run out of corn that is dry enough o run without investing in excess drying costs or taking a big hit on dock at the elevator. Some of the later-planted corn on better land is still higher in moisture content than some people prefer to run.

Fourth, those same fields, which were affected by drought, were causing problems for some farmers who tried harvesting them above 20% moisture. They observed excess grinding and cracking, even after adjusting combine settings. Whether the damage is related to stress on the corn and how it died due to drought and heat instead of maturing naturally is not clear.

However, expect farmers to pick up speed as soon as moisture content on corn comes down some and they can harvest without excessive damage to the grain. Several weather forecasters are calling for mild conditions during the first half of the fall, but much colder than normal, and wetter than normal, conditions setting up in mid-fall and continuing through late fall. If those forecasts are accurate, late harvest could be difficult. That's the last thing most farmers want to contend with after an already tough crop year.
TAGS: Soybeans
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