Around the Farm – Harvest is Coming

Posted: September 20, 2022

September is always one of the more hectic times of the year here on our farm.

We spend most of the month trying to get ready for harvest, which for us means repairing our combine, preparing the strip-till bar, ordering seed and fertilizer and getting the grain elevator cleaned out and ready to bring in this year’s harvest.

We had the combine ready by the first of this month, and with harvest looking like it may start a little later than usual we should have plenty of time to prep our grain facility.

When we harvest our crops, we haul every bushel back to our farm and store it in our grain bins until we want to sell it. For soybeans, that means putting them in a bin and getting cool air on them so we make sure that they store properly. When we harvest our corn, we bring it back to our elevator and it gets run through our grain dryer to bring it down to the proper moisture for storage into the next summer.

Getting the grain to the right temperature and moisture is hugely important to us since we store and sell corn and soybeans throughout the year.

For our soybean harvest we run with our fulltime crew, with one combine, one grain cart and one or two of our semi-trucks. When we switch to corn, things get a little more chaotic. We add in another grain cart, bring in two part-time cart drivers, run all three of our trucks and fire up the grain dryer. We generally bring in about 30 to 35 truck loads of corn in a good day.

This year it looks like we will start harvest a week or week and half later than usual. We planted later in the spring due to cold wet weather and we got plenty of rains in August, coupled with cooler weather, these factors are pushing harvest later.

While that might be a drawback to getting in the fields early, the rains should really help our soybean crop. Rains in August are a huge driver of soybean yield, and the past two years we have had dry Augusts, so I think this should be a good bean crop.

As far as the corn crop goes, I’m cautiously optimistic on yields but not as much as I was a few weeks ago. When it comes to corn yields there are three major components: ears per acre, kernels per ear, and weight per kernel. This year has made estimating yield very difficult. We have some of the best stands (ears/acre) I’ve ever seen. And this weather should make for great kernel weights, but were seeing a lot of “tip-back” where the ends of the corn ears don’t fill out with grain and so we’re running a little shorter on kernels per ear than I would’ve hoped for. I think the phenomenal grain fill period we’ve experienced will more than outweigh the “tip-back”.

Guess we will find out soon what Harvest 2022 will be like!