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DeKalb County

Ryan Frieders

Ryan Frieders is a second-generation Cropwatcher. Ryan and his father, Ron, grow corn and soybeans on their farm near Waterman.


Another season of CropWatchers draws to a close. There will be a lot of lessons learned from 2019. I am just not sure what they are yet. I’ve never heard “this is a first” and “haven’t seen that before” more when talking with farmers. We have been stretched beyond our wildest dreams. The year 2020 will be here soon, and I know I will be more prepared for the challenges than ever before. Stay safe. Be thankful. Enjoy life.


We finished harvesting our soybeans. There are still many bean fields in the area. We received another 3 inches of snow along with the Siberian air mass that stopped harvest cold, pun intended. The grain dryer froze, the combine froze and even the ripper froze up. There is also a shortage of LP gas in the area, so many farmers are waiting to get fuel before they can begin again. Corn harvest in our area is under 50% complete, and some neighbors have yet to even start. It’s going to be a long time before this crop year is complete.


We have been moving from field to field in order to find acceptable ground conditions. We started harvesting Monday. Corn has not gotten any drier than before we got the rain and snow. Everything we have done has been just under 30%. Test weights are light – 53 to 54 pounds. We have some soybeans left to harvest, and we are going to try to get them while the ground is frozen in the next few days. Soybeans are finally dead after the freeze and snow, and are getting to harvestable moisture levels.


Harvest has ground to a screeching halt. We were just getting good field conditions, but since Saturday, we have received more than 2 inches of rain and 4 inches of snow. There are many soybean fields and most of the cornfields that have not been touched. There has been very little field work done and hardly any fertilizer applied.