Minnesota Farmer


10/27/13 Harvest Report

We are done!  It feels good to say that.  Harvest for us finished on Friday when we took out the last of the soybeans.  We had left about 40 acres in that last field because they were too wet at the time we got to them.

So how did it go.  Despite the dry summer conditions and crazy rainy weather we had at planting, all things turned out good.  So a recap.100_2028

This spring was wet and cold here in southwestern Minnesota.  There was snow on our gardens and fields when we should usually start planting in late April, so it was May before we got any corn planted with the first fields going in on May 7.  Rains stopped planting, but when we next got into the field on May 12 we kept going until we finished corn.  Usually we target May 10 as the last day of corn planting, I guess we missed that one.

With another rain delay to slow us down, we did not start planting soybeans until May 21, and then we stopped again.  Our next planting weather came on June 2 and we kept going until we finished on June 3.  For those who missed the few days of planting weather this spring matters then became worse as the wet weather held on for another week.

100_2184The summer weather started out wet and early field activities were difficult.  I left these ruts while side dressing nitrogen.  There were many places in the field that showed how wet we were all spring, then the weather changed, and we had dry conditions.

Before we were done with the dry weather we were in a severe drought.  Yes, we had periodic rains, but you had to wonder where the crops were getting their moisture.  The good thing is we had the heat we had been denied all spring.  Corn and soybeans were looking good, we had only to wait for harvest to see what the end result was.

I have to say the yield results were good.  The soybeans did not look all that good when we were harvesting them, but when the beans went across the scale this was the best soybean year since 2005.  The final tally is 15. 5 bushels better than last years soybean harvest.  It turned out to be a very good soybean year.

The corn numbers were not so good.  Our corn fields did indeed look good all year.  When we started to harvest the corn, we were able to put most of it straight into the bin without drying.  We’ll be running the fans until freeze up, but corn harvested at under 20% moisture will dry down just fine in the cooler weather of fall and early winter.  We ended up drying about one-quarter of our harvest, that savings will help to defray the costs that must be covered by the lower corn prices this year.100_2489

Our final corn yields were eight bushels over last years extreme drought ravaged crops, but seven bushels under the crop we got in 2011.  Looking back to our record crops of 2004 to 2009, we were not even close.  It was a good year, but under the trend yields we have come to expect.

Looking back even further, I can remember years that were not even as dry as these last two that would have been complete disasters, but due to the modern technology of genetic engineering, have become very respectable crops.  The ability of corn to shrug off dry weather and insects has really changed what our crops can yield.  The reduction of costs for herbicides due to modern genetics also helps to make a poor crop pay the bills.  The future is exciting, can’t wait to see what will be next.

Michael