State’s harvest progressing nicely

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By Kent Thiesse
Farm Management Analyst & Vice President MinnStar Bank Lake Crystal

The fall harvest season started a bit later than normal in 2013, but has been progressing at a fairly nice pace in recent weeks across the region.
Following above normal temperatures through most of September and early October, it appears that late October will feature much cooler temperatures, which should not affect harvest progress. Many areas have also received some beneficial rainfall in recent weeks, which has only caused minor delays in harvest progress, due to the very dry soil conditions that existed prior to harvest.
As of Monday, it is estimated that over 90 percent of the soybeans, as well as 30 to 50 percent of the corn, has been harvested in most areas of southwest and western south central Minnesota. Harvest progress has been much slower in southeast and eastern south central Minnesota, which was affected by very late planting this past spring, due to the extremely wet soil conditions.
Even though harvesting is occurring later, the good news for the areas with later planting dates is that the first frost did not occur until after Oct. 15. This allowed many of the later planted crops to fully mature, which will likely add considerable yield and quality to the later planted corn and soybeans.
Overall, most reported soybean yields have been better than expected, given the very late planting in southeast Minnesota, as well as the very dry conditions that existed in many areas later in the growing season.
It has not been unusual to hear of yield monitor and weigh wagon yields that were well above 60 bushels per acre, with a few even eclipsing 70 bushels per acre in southern Minnesota in areas that received some timely rainfall in mid-August. Whole field yields of 50 to 60 bushels per acre were quite common in these situations. In the same region, areas that missed these timely rainfalls had soybean yields that were more typically from 40-50 bushels per acre. In Southeast Minnesota, the very late-planted soybeans have been yielding 30-40 bushels per acre on a “whole-field” basis.
2013 corn yields across the region have been highly variable, depending on planting date, as well as the impact from the late summer dry weather pattern in many areas. There have been some whole field yield reports of over 200 bushels per acre in South Central and Southwest Minnesota; however, whole field corn yield figures of 170-190 bushels per acre are much more common in the region.

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