Minnesota harvest winds down
SANBORN — In most parts of Minnesota, harvest is winding up for the season. Only the occasional stand of corn or soybeans can be spotted, mainly in areas that drowned out early on and were replanted.
The USDA said in its weekly crop progress and condition report for the state that corn harvested for grain was 78 percent complete, eight days ahead of last year. Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop was harvested, which is one week behind last year.
Minnesota’s sunflower harvest was 73 percent complete, six days behind average. Potato harvest was nearing completion at 97 percent complete, and sugarbeet harvest was 99 percent complete.
Farmer and landowner Dale Hanson from Bandon Township near Franklin said yields are down 3 percent to 4 percent from last year across the board with corn and soybeans.
“Of course, that doesn’t take into account the areas that flooded out,” Hanson said. “Some of those areas got replanted. Some of them stayed wet enough that we just couldn’t get back into them to replant.”
Farther south, down in Nobles and Jackson counties, Keith Newman, grain division manager with New Vision Co-op, said early rains have had a significant impact over last year’s harvest. New Vision Co-op has grain facilities in Jeffers, Windom, Heron Lake, Mountain Lake and Brewster.
“I’d say beans are about 100 percent done in the area,” Newman said.
Newman echoed Hanson’s comments on drowning out.
“We had too much water this spring and summer,” Newman said. “A lot of areas drowned out. On the corn we are seeing, there’s a lot of nitrogen leaching. So yields are definitely down with all of the water and the ponding.”
Newman reported he’s seen soybean yields as high as 65 bushels per acre. However, he’s seen yields as low as 35 bushels.
“I would say we are right around a 48 to 49 bushel average on beans,” Newman said. “Across our area, we’ve seen some 200 bushel corn, too. But there is a lot of 135 bushel corn as well. I would say we are going to be at a 168 to 170 average on corn over our territory.”
That’s definitely down from last year when New Vision Co-op saw a 60-bushel average on soybeans and a 200-bushel average on corn.
As far as moisture content goes, Newman said the last 80 percent of the soybeans that came in were pretty dry.
“Corn is dried down, too,” Newman said. “On average I’d say it’s 16.5 to 17 percent moisture. So we’re still having to dry some of the corn that is coming in.”
In southeastern Minnesota, farmers were able to harvest at a bit of a faster pace.
Greg Rendahl, who grows corn and soybeans in Fillmore County near Ostrander, ended his harvest in the first week of November. He said that fortunately he wasn’t dealing with any flooded out crops.
As far as yields, Rendahl said his soybeans were below average because they were on his poorest ground. But his corn yields were above average this year, estimating an average 190 bushels an acre.
“I think I was only around 43 with beans,” Rendahl said of his soybean bushel per acre average. “But I have a hard time with soybeans because I no-till.”
Unlike most of the operations around him, Rendahl prefers no-till farming because it requires less equipment. He’s been no-till for the last 12 years. But he said if he did more tillage he could probably do a bit better with his yields.
Overall, Rendahl said it was a good harvest. He took out the maximum amount of federally subsidized crop insurance and is expecting to get a payment on the soybeans.