Farmers work on harvesting bumper crop
A bumper crop can be defined as a year where the harvest is so plentiful, there may not be space to store the grain. Bumper is defined as something unusually large.
Well, thanks to Mother Nature and a lot of hard work, local farmers are seeing higher yields this year for both soybeans and field corn, edging on what could be called a bumper crop.
Local elevators, such as StateLine Cooperative of Blue Earth, can attest to the good harvest and back it up with local numbers.
“We have taken in about 50 plus percent more beans this year than last year,”?manager Paul Nerem says. “It is that good.”
Craig Kilian, vice president of the grain division of WFS, said the soybean harvest has been great.
“The yields are really good; we are looking at over 15 to 20 bushels better than last year,”?he says. “This is the best overall year (for beans) I have ever seen.”
Many farmers have finished or are just finishing harvest on their soybeans and in turn have been filling up a lot of the local elevators’ storage.
“Everyone is filling up and the farmers are already starting on corn,” Nerem says.
According to the StateLine manager, they started dumping soybeans last year on Sept. 29 but this year began on Sept. 20.
“So, harvest has been about 10 days ahead of last year’s,” he explains.
And WFS?is already planning ahead for corn storage.
“We are really full of beans, as full as we have ever been,”?Kilian says. “I’m sure we’re going to have to pile some corn on the ground this year.”
As the soybean harvest finishes up, farmers are now moving on to harvesting their field corn crop, some of whom have already begun hauling to StateLine’s Blue Earth facility.
“People have already started on corn and we’re looking at yields of 200 plus,”?Nerem says.
WFS?has already had some farmers hauling in their corn as well, and have been seeing similar numbers.
“Most are running around 200 or better some are even as high as 225,” Kilian says. “I was just riding with a guy who was yielding around 210.”
He adds that the moisture of the corn 10 days ago was measuring around 20-22.
“But, now the early corn is as low as 15, with quite a bit of it measuring somewhere between 15 and 20,” Kilian says.
This means less time in the dryer which also helps farmers out.
“Drying corn is a revenue stream for us, but it is nice for the farmers,”?Kilian adds.
But how does this year’s harvest stack up to the last couple of years?
According to statistics collected by the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS), both soybeans and corn yields are up from the previous two years.
In 2013, Faribault County averaged 176 bushel per acre for corn and 164 bushels per acre in 2014.
That year Redwood County was the largest corn producing county in Minnesota with Mower, Martin, Renville and Faribault counties rounding out the top five.
In 2013 the average yield for Faribault County farmers’ soy beans were 45.3 and 45.7 in 2014.
Last year the wet conditions after the farmers planted beans delayed the planting and development of the 2014 soybean crop in Minnesota.
“This year we are seeing average yields of 65 plus bushels,”?Nerem says.
Kilian remembers how the weather affected the harvest in 2014.
“We had that early frost last year in September and I?think that hurt our yield potential,”?Kilian adds.
And, farmers are seeing a lot of good weather which is allowing them to continue harvest.
“The weather has been cooperating and the farmers have been able to switch over from one to the other,”?Nerem says.
He adds the weather forecast still looks good for the next week or so.
“We are looking at above normal temps and dry,” he explains. “These are great conditions.”
And he says because of those great conditions everyone in the area is filling up.
“The crops are good from here clear down to Highway 18 in Iowa,”?Nerem says. “In fact we are using our corn space to store beans.”
So, with the bean harvest basically finished and deemed a success, local farmers are optimistic as they begin harvesting their other crops this fall.
“And we are just glad we’re up here to help local farmers,”?Nerem adds of the StateLine Cooperative facility in Blue Earth. “Otherwise, who knows, they’d have to haul out of town and wait in line somewhere.”