Eastern Missouri Farmers Start Harvesting Beans, Sowing Wheat

Finding wet corn, farmers shift focus to soybean harvest.

Published on: Oct 25, 2013

Ben Schroer found his corn still running 40% moisture in some fields, so the southern Warren County farmer switched gears and started harvesting soybeans.

It was a late planting season for both corn and soybeans in eastern Missouri. Schroer, who farms along with his father, Charlie, was roughly one month behind this planting season. The men farm both hill ground above the Missouri River, as well as, bottomland. And the late planting is affecting corn dry down. So, they remain flexible and move into harvesting their soybean acres.

Soybean progress

Missouri farmers have already harvested 36% of the state's soybean acres, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is 6 days behind last year and 5 days behind normal.

SWITCHING GEARS: Missouri farmers are moving from corn to soybean harvest in some areas of the state. The wet conditions of the corn crop are causing many to consider a longer dry down time in the field. Others are preparing for drying via the grain bin.
SWITCHING GEARS: Missouri farmers are moving from corn to soybean harvest in some areas of the state. The wet conditions of the corn crop are causing many to consider a longer dry down time in the field. Others are preparing for drying via the grain bin.

While the Schroers just started harvesting soybeans, they are finding yield variability. "Some beans in the hills were in the 50s," Charlie says. "Then there were some less than 20 bushels." He believes it may be a variety problem, but only time will tell.

The soybeans were not planted until June 12. "It was just too wet to plant," Ben explains. Then the area experienced drought conditions this summer, seeing little rainfall. "Some areas got a shot of rain," Charlie explains, "but ours did not. It will be interesting to see what the bottom ground does where there were a couple more showers compared to our hill ground."

Ready for wheat

While Charlie was in the combine harvesting soybeans along the Missouri River, his son was up on the bluff planting wheat.

"It has been really good conditions for sowing wheat," Ben says. He started last week. The ground has been workable. "It is a little dry, but the ground is working well." He is planting the same number of acres into wheat this year.

Corn conditions

As for corn yields, Ben says it has been average. They only harvested a few acres that produced 130 bushels per acre.

The Schroers have not started harvesting corn on their prime bottom ground, but they are anxious to see yield results. Farmers in the area report yields in excess of 200 bushels per acre, non-irrigated, with some pushing 250 bushels.

Missouri corn harvest is 63% complete as of Monday. It is 36 days behind last year and 11 days behind normal. The southeast district has the most harvested acres at 95%.

When will this harvest season end? Charlie quips, "I would like to be done in two weeks. That is when deer season starts." He son is not that optimistic. "Yeah," Ben says, "I don't think that will happen."