Minnesota Farmer

What to do?
September 11, 2012, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Corn, Fall, Farm, harvest, Soybeans, weather, wind | Tags: , , , , ,

The conditions of our crops and the weather have me wondering, what should I do?

The last two days have been windy and hot.  Todays high temperature was 93 degrees, 20 degrees hotter than normal.  The high temps and the strong winds are really drying down our corn and soybeans.  Tomorrow the temperatures will be more normal and there is a chance of rain.  Both our corn and soybeans are in that in between stage.

Corn is easier to handle.  We are used to drying down wet corn in this area, but it is September, and this is very early to be harvesting corn.  If I wait a few days I do not have to use the dryer, I can just put it into the bin.  The problem is that as the corn gets dryer it is more likely to fall off of the stalk, thus there will be less to harvest.

Some of our corn is dry, under 20% moisture, and could be harvested.  The problem is that many of our corn stalks are still green with a grain moisture of over 20%.  You can even find spots where the corn is very green with grain moisture of over 30%.  With a grain moisture of under 20 %  I can put it in the bin, turn on the fan and it will keep for the winter.  At 20% moisture it might not keep for the winter, it is the corn that is over 20% moisture that must be dried down.  What to do?

The corn kernels on this area were over 35% moisture.

I decided to try harvesting some corn.  I took about 28 acres out of a field that was contracted for fall delivery to the cooperative in town.  As I got further into the field the corn got wetter, so I stopped.  I’ll have to give another field a try.

So far the corn is yielding about 75% of last year.  It sure would have been nice to get another rain or two in the last few months, it would really have boosted the yield.  I’m just thankful to be harvesting a crop, some are not so lucky this year.

Soybeans may be a bit easier to decide on.  Usually we harvest our soybeans first, since they are usually ready for harvest in late September or early October.  Corn is rarely ready for harvest before soybeans.  This year is different.

We have areas in our soybean fields where the ground was sandy and had little water where the beans are ready for harvest now.  Just a few feet away from those dry spots are green soybeans that will not be ready for harvest for 3 or 4 weeks.  The dry spots are too small to go into and take out the beans so we will have to wait for the rest of the field to get ready.

The high winds have been blowing anything loose around.  Corn leaves from our fields are heading down wind.  Branches and leaves are blowing off of trees.  It has been a crazy day.

This road ditch is starting to fill up with leaves blown in from the corn field.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love this post! For folks who don’t know how harvest is decided, you give them all the things you have to think through! Well done!

Comment by Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON

We’re in the waiting game, as well. Looks like we’ll have one field of early beans ready to go by Monday, then we’ll probably switch over to corn. Have a safe harvest, Mike!

Comment by carolyncares

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