Harvest is still in a stop-and-go pattern in Coles County. Showers come in every couple of days or so, but fortunately, it has not been enough to turn fields into mud bogs. It is making soybean cutting difficult, and we have combine switching down to more of a perfected art than I knew it could be. We also grow soybeans for seed, which requires meticulous cleaning, especially when switching from corn. We are getting very good at that also. But on the bright side, when we can go, the going’s great. We have been hauling record bushels out of every field and that is definitely not something to take for granted.
Spotty and light rain showers made soybean cutting difficult last week. Several farmers, including myself, are wearing out the tools we use to change combines from corn to beans and vice versa. Any cornfield I have been in lately is testing dry, so when the bean crop won’t go, it’s time to go after the corn. On the other hand, with good standing corn, whenever the beans decide to cooperate, it’s time to get after them. The weekend weather forecast looks like we may be getting a mandatory harvest break. Hopefully, it’s not too long - maybe just long enough to go to town to get more tools.
Early last week, a weather system moved in, filling gauges in the 2 to 3 inch range and curtailing harvest activities. A few combines kicked in the 4-wheel-drive and nosed into cornfields Thursday and Friday. Yields are holding at the same great levels so far, and corn moistures are getting close to the 15 percent dry level. Soybean fields and producers are waiting for a good string of cutting days, hopefully sooner than later. The area harvest is a ways from the halfway mark, but one good week would change that.
We now find ourselves in the midst of harvest here in Coles County. Corn dryers will have a very light year with Mother Nature doing most of the work in a timely enough fashion to suit many growers. Yields are excellent as has been expected by about everyone, especially those running the markets. Corn is running from 15 percent to under 20 percent out of fields yielding an impressive range of 220 to 260 bushels per acre. Soybean fields are ripening, although some of the stems are staying inconveniently green. Reported soybean yields are running in their own impressive range of 70 to 90 bushels per acre. The bountiful crop is out there, and it is standing really well as it awaits harvest. Don’t let potentially saved seconds turn into lost days. Stay safe out there!