Shooting Straight Into The Next Season!

Between the Fencerows

The harvest seems to have dragged on for us, but we're looking ahead.

Published on: November 27, 2013

Conclusion of this year's harvest has come slowly. In fact, we still have a few fields we need to clean up. Rain, snow, wind, snow, and rain have been contributing factors to what is now feeling unending. However, basketball has started. In Indiana, it would seem nothing else matters. If you know anything about Indiana, you know how steeped in basketball tradition this state is. I think it is just born into you.

Many people just can't escape it, I haven't been able to either. Since 1995, I have been blowing the whistle. As a matter of fact, my wife, Rachael officiates as well. We both work womens' college basketball at the division II and III level. Many afternoons this time of year, you may catch me sneaking away to clean up and get my way to a game.

On the farm, we are asking what took so long. We have identified several factors. The first is the above average corn and soybean crop. Obviously, it will take longer to harvest more grain. Next, we probably lost a week of time while harvesting soybeans. As I mentioned earlier, our average start time this year was well after lunch, conditions just weren't right. The weather has also been a factor. We lost a couple days to snow, and the last storm knocked down quite a bit of corn, slowing harvest speeds. Though we had a few mechanical issues most problems were resolved quickly.

We are also evaluating what steps we should take to be more timely. For the acres we run, by many standards, we are lacking on harvesting equipment. Most years, this would make us more efficient, but this year we lost some corn because of it. We have discussed purchasing or renting a second combine to speed soybean harvest or to harvest corn in the mornings. As we are entering an obviously less profitable time period, letting some of the less profitable farms go may be an option. I am a believer that each farm must stand on its own. Other thoughts include running two shifts, in essence, lengthening our harvest day.

This weekend, I'm just looking forward to some time off. I hope we are far enough along to 'call it done'. Next week, we'll get back into things cleaning up odds and ends, and doing a harvest review to see if we have any crop insurance claims.