Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yield reports

It is even drier today. It's 94 and windy again. Some of the beans are down to 8%. The market doesn't pay for drier beans under 13.0% so ever point of moisture is a one percent loss in farmer yield and weight resulting in less income.

Early corn yields are 170-210. We are very blessed. Yields are all over the board across the country. Some farmers are combining in mud and our ground is as hard as concrete.

The corn quality is very good overall. It is dry and mostly decent test weights. I haven't seen much stalk lodging or breakage and the combine can move along at average speed. Down corn can slow you down to 1 MPH instead of 3.5 so it can take over 3 times longer to harvest. I have never had much down corn and I hope I never do. I plan hard to avoid it.

Soybeans started at around 60 bu an acre although it was too dry. We could be in for some trouble in our soybean harvest as few have started. It all ripened at one time in the heat making it a real challenge to get it out. Seed size is small and there is too many 1 or 2 or even flat pods so we have more pods this year than normal. We were set for some record yields but it never rained in August. The soybeans took the heat well though and it looks like the corn did too.

A good way to check for loss is make a one foot square frame and throw it on the ground randomly. 2 corn kernals equals about one bushel loss per acre, soybeans 4 beans and wheat 16 kernals. Darren Hefty showed how to do this on Ag PhD on RFD TV. An expert job of combining is 2 bushels or less so I think we can't do a really expert job this year because of the condition of the crop. You can set the rotor until you are blue in the face and still have over 2 bushel loss. I bet some fields have 5-20 bu loss. The corn and wheat will be volunteer weeds for next year and are a real problem to handle. Have you ever tried counting kernals lost on the ground? In wheat residue it's about impossible to do.

That's all for today. One of my sister's neighbors was killed yesterday in a corn head, probably a corn picker because they still pick ear corn in her area for livestock feed.

Be very careful when you meet farm machinery on the road. We have to get to the fields and some fields are 30 miles away. Don't be impatient! It's your food and our best economy right now!


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