Cropwatchers
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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.

11/22/2019

To look at the amount of crop left standing while driving around our county, you might of guessed we’re about to hit the third week of October, not the third week of November. Plenty of farmers with food-grade beans are still waiting for that crop to dry down enough to head to town with it. Most everyone with a combine is going to smile if a cold front hits without a snow in front of it. This has been a fascinating year. Early in the season, we had more water than we knew what to do with. Then an August break, and now at harvest, we’ve had more water and snow than we know what to do with. The crop we thought would be subpar has turned out to be above most of our APH. As we’re coming to a close, I can also say it was a tremendous education to work through this growing season. And finally, it has been a blessing to share it with my family and all of you. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

11/18/2019

We are combining 20% moisture corn in 5 inches of snow and hauling it out on icy lanes, but I’m so thankful the crop is standing like arrows and we’re over halfway done. We’ve harvested all the land next to the roads and now all that’s left are the fields a half mile off the road. We’re back to using wagons to get the grain to the leg after pulling three stuck semis out. We all learned our lesson. You don’t have to try too hard to find mud under what little frost there is. I imagine we’ll take a little bit of a break if temperatures work their way back above freezing. With the two-day window to do beans late last week and a harvest-stopping snow during the weekend, the dryer tanks are mostly topped off. There were plenty of farmers who were unable to turn a wheel last week with dryer gas in short supply.

11/8/2019

With most everyone dipping into corn, it’s been said more than once “I can’t believe where this is coming from.” Yes, it’s better than most of us had hoped for. Now that we’re in the deep freeze, the drying isn’t coming from the sun’s energy, but it’s mostly freeze drying along with some very low humidity. Our first load of the day was 21.9%, and we ended up in the evening at 20.7% -- same variety, same farm. For now, I’ll just say every variety we’ve been in has been starting with a fairly respectable 2. A call to the elevator found four farmers had switched from corn back to beans. I’ll take one more morning for corn, then swap heads after noon. I hope the dryer won’t be necessary to get the beans to 13%. I think we’re getting the Indian summer I had hoped for. This one should be called “Eskimo summer.”

11/8/2019

With most everyone dipping into corn, it’s been said more than once “I can’t believe where this is coming from.” Yes, it’s better than most of us had hoped for. Now that we’re in the deep freeze, the drying isn’t coming from the sun’s energy, but it’s mostly freeze drying along with some very low humidity. Our first load of the day was 21.9%, and we ended up in the evening at 20.7% -- same variety, same farm. For now, I’ll just say every variety we’ve been in has been starting with a fairly respectable 2. A call to the elevator found four farmers had switched from corn back to beans. I’ll take one more morning for corn, then swap heads after noon. I hope the dryer won’t be necessary to get the beans to 13%. I think we’re getting the Indian summer I had hoped for. This one should be called “Eskimo summer.”