Corn harvest is in full swing

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/13/99.

Harvest Area farmers were busy harvesting soybeans last week. In spite of the dry weather conditions this summer, crop yields are coming in better than anticipated.

Richard Lahr, Paynesville, reported his soybeans yielded anywhere from 30 to 40 bushels per acre with a moisture content of 13 percent. His corn yields have been better than expected, yielding 100 plus bushels per acre. "The yields vary from field to field," he said.

"This has been an ideal fall for harvesting crops," Lahr said. He added his corn harvest is about two weeks ahead of normal.

Craig Lang, Richmond, said he had his beans harvested and was starting his corn harvest. The soybeans yielded about 30 bushels per acre with a moisture content of 11 percent. What corn he has taken from the field is yielding 90 bushels to the acre with a moisture content of 15 to 16 percent. Normal for this time of year is 20 to 25 percent moisture.

"Considering the weather conditions this year with a wet spring and dry July and August, the yields are better than I thought they would be," Lang said. Richard Stang, St. Martin, reported his soybean harvest was completed. He has 320 acres in crops and his yield was been better than expected.

Stang said he has 25 acres in alfalfa, but that he wasn't planning to harvest a fourth crop of hay. "Hay is so cheap it's not worth the trouble," he added.

Tony Stalboerger, Lake Henry, planted oats and corn this year. His oats yielded 80 bushels per acre while he chopped 370 tons of corn silage off 16 acres.

"I was surprised at the yield with so little rain this summer," Stalboerger said. He plans on cutting a fourth crop of hay this month. "Hay has been plentiful this year. I plan on cutting 20 acres in a week or two, maybe I'll put it in haylage."

He added this will be the first time he has taken a fourth crop off the field. A lot of years he has left his third crop stand.

Dan Martin, Central Minnesota extension crop specialist, said the corn silage has pretty much been completed. "Farmers are going full speed ahead as much as the weather will allow them on the soybean harvest. Some corn has been harvested on fields with drier soils," Martin said.

Martin advised farmers to keep a close eye on the moisture content of corn they put in the silo. High moisture corn keeps better at 30 percent after it has been placed in a silo or bag. If the moisture levels are around 20 percent, there are better chances for spoilage problems.

"The soybeans were drying down nicely before the frost, but are now drying more rapidly after the killing frosts we had recently," Martin added.

Martin said, with the wet spring, some farmers replanted their crops in May and June. Since that time they have had pollination problems and moisture stress. "My guess is that the area will have no bumper crops this year. Yields will vary from field to field and from farm to farm. I expect there will be respectable yields," Martin added.

Martin also advised that if farmers take a fourth cutting of hay, do so after Oct. 15. He suggested they leave strips of alfalfa a couple of feet wide every now and then in the fields to help collect snow on the fields. "Snow is the best blanket to protect hay from winter injury," he added.

Kevin Weller, Feed Co, said farmers are reporting soybeans yielding better than expected. On nonirrigated fields, soybeans have been averaging 30 bushels to the acre. On irrigated fields, yields have averaged 50 to 55 bushels per acre.

In reference to the corn crop, Weller said there hasn't been enough corn taken from the fields to get a good yield check.

Weller said the crop prices are terrible. As of Oct. 4, soybeans have been paying out $4.29 per bushel and corn, $1.46. Farmers receiving loan deficiency payments will receivedabout $5.02 for their soybeans and $1.76 for their corn.

The week was unseasonably cold, but mostly dry, and harvest activity picked up speed, especially on soybeans, according to the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service.

After southwestern Minnesota received two to three inches of snow the first of October, farmers in central Minnesota breathed a sigh of relief when they received only sprinkles of rain.

As of Oct. 4, 32 percent of the soybeans and nine percent of the corn crop in the state has been harvested. Some farmers are still chopping silage as the ag statistics service reported 96 percent of the silage was harvested.

Return to Archives