Fall foliage has barely started to change colors and extended mild weather continues to rule, but it is time to get a move on.
Last week harvest began for us. We carved a few spots out of corn fields in order to have room to stockpile chicken litter, but found corn was still pretty wet with moistures ranging from 24%-34%. Three of the four fields were in the higher range.
So, we turned our focus to soybeans which finished ripening after the rain a week ago. We plant soybeans that range in maturity from 2.4 to 3.5. So far we have been into the early soybeans. Yields have been better than expected, running slightly above average. A dry August did hurt yields, but not as badly as we thought. In one field we were harvesting, I counted aborted seeds to be 12%-15%, which would directly translate to that much yield loss.
Right now, the hypothesis is that the late beans took a harder hit from the weather.
If you recall, this July, disease pressures were high and looking to get worse. We sprayed most all our fields with fungicide. This year I left test strips in nearly every field. From the combine seat, no difference has been seen.
Again, this may be attributed the dry August being inhospitable to the various funguses.
Neighbors are planting wheat. We are considering planting some, but haven't made a decision. I haven't had time to run the cash flow yet, but the depressed corn market coupled with the opportunity to utilize some of the nitrogen from the chicken litter is making it a tempting proposition. The 25th is the typical start date for this neck of the woods.
The greatest difficulty in harvest so far has been delays in the grain complex. We knew it was a distinct possibility that it might not get completed, but now we find ourselves working around piles of parts and drop pipes laying in the driveway. It appears we will have a short break in bean harvest before some of the later and later planted beans are ripe. Hopefully the grain complex will be complete by then.