Harvest Updates from the Combine

September 28, 2017 03:15 PM

As you look down from the combine seat you see the payout of all of your hard work. This year, Mother Nature, markets and other formidable foes tried to steal from your pocketbook. Now is the time when you learn who the greater victor was: hopefully, you.

Currently the U.S. sits at 11% of corn harvested and 10% of soybeans harvested in the 18 biggest production states. In AgriTalk’s weekly Farmer Forum producers from Indiana, Kansas and Missouri all shared some of the highs and lows they’ve seen so far in harvest.

In the Bootheel of Missouri, farmer Charlie Kruse is nearly finished with corn and soybean harvest.

“We’re done with corn and have about half of our soybeans cut,” Kruse says. “Cotton is getting opened up and we’re harvesting rice.”

He says farmers in his area are seeing stellar test weights and higher than typical yields, all over 200 bu. per acre. Despite what he says was more dicamba damage than last season, soybeans are sowing good yields as well—something he attributes to timely rainfall. “But we’re just getting started.”

In Indiana farmers aren’t seeing quite the garden southeast Missouri farmers experienced. Variability is the word on everyone’s lips and end yield average for the state is anyone’s guess.

“[Corn] has been in the 130s to 190s so far,” says Don Lamb, corn and soybean farmer in Lebanon, Ind. In a typical year he’d see corn yield range from 180 to 200 bu. per acre. “We have about 100 acres of corn done and 600 to 700 acres of soybeans done.”

He says soybeans are incredibly dry, 8% to 9% moisture at harvest. Thanks to replant, weed pressure and other challenges he’s unsure what that will mean for end yield results.

Parts of Kansas struggled with Mother Nature, too, with little rain. However, Ken McCauley in White Cloud, Kan. says he lucked out with ¼” rains here and there that saved his crops.

“We’re averaging over 200 bu. per acre [on corn], but five miles west and on out west you’ve gotta feel for those guys who didn’t have rains, they’re seeing some zero [yields] out there,” McCauley says. “We’re about 50% done with corn and haven’t started cutting beans.”

He says farmers to the west of him are seeing considerably more variability. They can watch yield monitors jump to 300 and fall to 40 or 50 bu. per acre in seconds in corn. Farmers in his area who have broken out the soybean head are seeing 60 to 70 bu. per acre, while neighbors to the best are in the 40 to 50 bu. per acre range.

“I still don’t think USDA is correct [on final yield average for the state],” McCauley says. “I think they need to lower yield and total production because you still have variable areas.”

In USDA’s most recent report it estimates Missouri will reach 164, Kansas will reach 133 and Indiana will reach 171 bu. per acre average in corn. Its soybean forecast estimates Missouri at 49, Kansas at 43 and Indiana at 56 bu. per acre average for the states.

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