|Harvest time — ready or not!|
By Byron Higgin
Heavy rain fell across much of the Minneota area — in fact, nine inches or so on Sept. 23.
That left large areas of corn and soybean fields submerged.
Flood waters covered perhaps 100,000 acres for several hours as rain water moved from fields into creeks and rivers across south-central and southwest Minnesota.
Now, farmers are playing a game: Do we go into potentially wet fields to harvest what appears to be a record crop? Or do we wait for mother nature to take care of the wet problem?
Many factors will affect the quality of the corn and soybean crops following standing water.
These include: duration of the flooding, crop stage or maturity, depth of the water, movement of the water, and air and water temperatures.
“It’s varied. There are some wet spots yet where they’ve had a little less rain. They’ve had pretty good going right now. Areas with creeks or rivers are in worse shape,” said Scott Dubbelde, general manager of Farmers Elevator in Hanley Falls.
“We’re grinding a lot of beans and we’re getting barnstormed with beans. It’s going good,” Dubbelde said.
“We’re trying to keep ahead of everybody. We’re starting to pile some beans today. Last year we didn’t stockpile beans at all,” he added.
As for the yields, Dubbelde said, “The bean yields are varied. Beans are going to be pretty good.” He stopped short of saying it was going to be a bumper crop. But many are saying it will be.
“There are some drowned out acres we’re not really sure of, yet” he said.
“But it’s good for our area, no doubt,” Dubbelde added.
The rain, “Did,” change everything, forcing farmers to put “track”s on combines in the field, Dubblede said. “Some guys had tracks for years because it compacts the soil less.”
FDA is saying any corn or beans underwater up to the ears or pods is an adulturated crop. Yet, farmers are going to have to evaluate the crop themselves, he said.
“There are a few bushels of corn in, but I haven’t heard any yields yet,” Dubbelde said.
“Some areas, like Taunton and Porter will suffer because of the hail damage this summer.
“But, I think things will be pretty good around here,” Dubbelde added.