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Boone County

Marshall Newhouse

Marshall Newhouse farms with his wife and daughter’s family. They grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay, and raise pastured turkeys for the Thanksgiving market. They have just started organic production on a 72-acre field.


As of today, October is officially … wet. Between 5 and 10 inches have fallen over the county during the first 10 days, and harvest has progressed at a snail’s pace. The forecast is for clear and dry, and if that is the case, I’ll take it. Most everyone is thinking about when to get back in the fields. Sunday afternoon, we’ll be picking some organic heirloom Bloody Butcher corn by hand. Three-quarters of an acre between a dozen of us should be fun. Come on over if you are free. We will train you.


We found a few hours Thursday to get into the corn. Showers from the last few days amounted to 2.3 inches. With the wind that accompanied it, the toll is beginning to be felt by crops in the field. We have a bunch of corn either tipped over just above the ear or laying over about a foot above the ground. A shrinking portion is standing well. Our ideas of an early harvest are disappearing in the pools of water that are now standing in the low areas of all the fields. We will go when we can, but unfortunately it won’t be in a hurry.


We dodged a bullet with the last front. Big winds southwest of us knocked corn over, but just a .2 of an inch shower fell on the east side of the county Tuesday evening. I can’t believe I’m picking corn in September let alone have it be under 20 percent. A third of my beans are done. The next third will be cut during the weekend, and the final third will hold until the second week in October. My yield summary for the county - if your ground is on a slope, this is a big crop. If your best ground is flat and black, it’s a decent crop.


Quite a few combines rolled through bean fields and a few neighbors nosed into cornfields last week. We have had corn testing in the upper teens and most of the beans dropped down to 11 percent moisture. That all stopped as of Tuesday when rains reappeared. So far, 1.4 inches have dropped into the farm gauge. When the ground dries enough to support machinery, it will be a serious push for both corn and beans. Stalk quality for corn is beginning to be an issue, while bean losses from low moisture shrinkage is always a reality. It’s unbelievable how quick harvest has hit this year, particularly for corn. Usually, I am happy with moisture in the low 20s by mid-October.