AgDay: Surprising Harvest in Eastern Iowa

04:16PM Oct 18, 2012
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Corn harvest across the country continues to race along at a rapid pace. In Iowa, one of the top corn producing states in the country, corn harvest is nearly sixty percentage points quicker than the average pace. And for one Iowa farmer, not only is harvest going faster than expected, yields are also better than anticipated.

"It’s unbelievable," said Joe Golinghorst, a Walcott, Iowa, farmer. He raises both pigs and row crops.

As he walks the field assessing his 2012 corn crop, he’s still in amazement. Just a few months ago during the extreme drought and heat, this Iowa farmer’s mind was on how he was going to make it through such a tough year.

"I was very thankful I had crop insurance to be honest with you," Golinghorst said.

But as this year’s crop rushes out of the combine into the grain cart, he’s relieved. Golinghorst credits good soil to his impressive yields.

"We farm ground that’s very black dirt," he said. "So, we had enough moisture going into plenty with plenty of subsoil moisture. That’s probably what got us through."

He says not everyone has been that fortunate.

"I know in the same county, the guys that farm on sand, there’s nothing there," Golinghorst said.

Golinghorst’s corn yields have only been off about 10% in an area where average yields usually hit anywhere from 200 to 210 bu. per acre. Countywide, he thinks corn yields will be closer to 25% below normal.

Meanwhile, Golinghorst has wrapped up this year’s soybean harvest, and that’s left him all smiles as well.

"Soybeans is another unbelievable story that, for us, going to be a little better than last year," he said.

He says soybean yields are topping out around 70 bu. per acre, but looks were deceiving this summer.

"We were very concerned about the beans that we wouldn’t have anything," he said.

He says a 2" rain in early August is what saved the soybeans.

"The soybeans are probably a little heavier than normal as far as test weight, which is again, surprising," Golinghorst said.

Golinghorst says that’s making what he thought would be a painful harvest, one to savor.

"Things have been a lot better than expected," he said. "It’s made harvest a lot more fun than we were anticipating."