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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.


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.


Two farmers worked on some 1.8 maturity beans Monday (Sept. 10). Both were planted in late April and are now testing below 13 percent. Both operators are pleasantly surprised with the yield. My 1.8 beans will take another week. My decision to plant late May rather than late April is a little frustrating. More corn is getting to the mid-20s in moisture. We are nowhere near October and dry down is the exception, not the rule. What a blessing! Make sure you get some rest in the midst of the harvest.


From Saturday (Sept. 1) night through Tuesday, the county collected an average of about 7.25 inches of rain. Needless to say, not much of it was utilized as streams and rivers are over their banks as water is moving out. If the forecast is right and a dry stretch arrives, early season beans will be harvested by Sept. 15. A seed rep stopped by yesterday, and even with all the rain, we were pleasantly surprised by stalk strength.


When I spoke to a Winnebago County friend who farms along the Sugar River, assuming that things were progressing nicely, he informed me the 14 inches around the Madison area had worked its way downstream practically submerging his crop. Boone County received 2 to 2.8 inches from two rains events last week. The best way to characterize this crop and timeframe is “coasting.” While most beans are turning, few cornfields, if any, have a black layer. Whether corn or beans, someone will likely be harvesting by the 15th. At a seed plot meeting this week, we were given a first hand introduction to tar spot. More unknowns, crud.