Pests and diseases sometimes develop in patterns, and sometimes not. To get a sampling of what is happening in the Midwest, Michigan Farmer, Indiana Prairie Farmer and Ohio Farmer editors have teamed up and lured in, or more accurately roped in, a couple of observers in key parts of their states to report every two weeks on what's happening in their fields. Click on the map to see where each reporter is commenting from.
Reporting From Indiana
Bill Pickart: There has been spotty rain and spotty harvesting in corn. We had a little over an inch of rain here, but some had over two inches, and this was before rain on Thursday, Sept. 19. Early last week there were a lot of early soybeans harvested. Yield reports for soybeans are in the high 50's and more bushels per acre. What corn that has been harvested was good. Corn is drying down but the rain and cooler temperatures slowed things down a bit. Some are waiting until about now to really hit it. Harvest is much more pleasurable this year with higher yields, even if overall crop income is down.
Jim Facemire: We didn't receive much rain until Sept. 19. That was too late for soybeans on gravelly ground. Irrigated crops look good. Seed corn under irrigation has yielded pretty well based on what they have harvested so far, In other areas, not on gravel, corn yields appear to be good, although guys are just now getting started. The corn is wet and there are some concerns about getting it dried down and not letting it sit wet in a bin for too long. Harvest will ramp up now. There haven't been many if any soybeans harvested here yet.
Reporting From Ohio
Luke VanTilburg: We have harvested over 500 acres of corn and just starting on beans.
With the lack of rain the past 6 weeks, beans are about where we expected them. Not outstanding, but not bad either. Corn is a big disappointment. Very low test weight is hurting yields badly. Everyone thought the corn was made and we didn't have to worry about the dry ending to the growing season. But, I would say they were wrong. We went from best year ever five weeks ago to average in a hurry. I have heard silage guys say they were very disappointed in their tonnage as well. We haven't been into any of the fields yet that were damaged by the July 10 windstorm. It will be interesting to see how those fair.
Dan Corcoran: Best time of the year. I can remember way back when I was a little boy and much smaller than today, as fall temperatures returned my father Don and Uncle John and several brothers and cousins worked in preparation for harvest with anticipation. Hoping the hard work invested all spring and summer would result in a good crop. The attitude was intense and yet almost lighter anticipating the first results on yield. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful meals brought to the field by my Aunt Doris and my mother, Joanne, providing a very crucial break time in the long hours of harvest.
Some things don't change I still work with my brothers Pat, Tim and Dennis now, a few nephews and nieces sons and daughters pitch in and that feeling of anticipation is still intense. We work all summer trying to minimize our yield robbing errors and miscalculations, challenged by those events we can't control -- the weather. We come to the realization we have once again come to the point that we can no longer influence the yield, only wait.
Our harvest progress is slow, we harvested 80 acres of corn. The moisture was 24 to 27%, a little wetter than we hoped, but a great chance to test combines and dryer systems. I think we have a good handle on fixing some glitches. Should be ready to run what I feel could be one of the best crops I have harvested in my 22 years of farming. The initial corn yields are 180+ per acre. The soybeans are coming in 12 -14% and 60 + bushel per acre... I hope these numbers continue.
Our popcorn is still a big concern with the standability and the fact we have rain in the forecast only adds to our worries. I have noticed this later planted corn that was holding on to green leaves now had managed to contract Northern leaf blight and quickly dying out. We will keep close eye on fields.
We are still trying to wrap up a few projects of fence and pastures to be ready for a big push on harvest over the next week or two. I hope that this article comes across with excitement and anticipation that I feel makes this the best time of the year. Oh once again the meals in the field have resumed, thanks to our wives -- Diane, Karen, Donna and Laura. Let's all be safe this harvest.
Reporting From Michigan
Janna Fritz: Dry bean harvest is underway. Yields are about average to slightly below average so far. Lack of August rains and white mold pressure are contributing factors to those average yields. Early sugar beet digging has also started in the area. Our soybeans are more than a week out and need a rain prior to harvest. Some growers have already harvested a few early maturity beans though. Corn is all over the board right now. Some fields have not even hit black layer while others have reached full maturity and have started drying down. Silage chopping is rolling for many in the area too. Have a safe harvest everyone!
Richard P. Dobbins: Crop conditions in south-central Michigan at this point look great. The corn in our area looks really good and we expect great yields. The soybeans put a lot of vegetative growth on this year but the pod counts aren’t the greatest. Soybeans are always hard to judge what the yields will be. We will see when the combines get in the field. We just had our seed corn harvested this past week and it seemed to do as expected.
Related Field Watch Articles
Friday Field Walk: Farmers Are Getting Anxious For Harvest - (Sept. 6)
Friday Field Walk: Farmers Still Optimistic As Most Crops Are Looking Good - (Aug. 23)
Friday Field Walk: Midwest Farmers Find Little To Complain About - (Aug. 9)
Friday Field Walk: What A Change A Year Can Make - (July 28)
Friday Field Walk: Growers Happy With Crop Progress Thus Far - (July 112)
Friday Field Walk: Spraying Is In Full Swing - (June 28)
Friday Field Walk: Crops Are In; Let The Spraying Begin - (June 14)
Friday Field Walk: Conditions Are Spotty - (May 31)
Friday Field Walk: Corn Planting About Done; Beans Underway - (May 17)
Friday Field Walk: Preparing For Planting Dash - (May 3)
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