Things are going well here. We are bailing stalks for our cow herd operation. We’ve only got about 250 bales to go, so it’s not too bad. The amount we have should put us through the fall, so we’re set.
I would say the biggest thing I learned this season was not anything that helped me this year, but all the stuff that hurt me that I did wrong.
I decided that I’ll never plant anything flat again. We’re going to row up every single acre. We did it again this year and lo and behold, it’s the best stand we’ve ever had.
Today we’re hauling corn to the ethanol plant. That’s what we’ve been doing all week — running to St. Louis and hauling grain. St. Louis is about 300 miles round trip, and the ethanol plant’s about 40 miles away, but we’ll do 5–6 trips a day over there.
Today’s the day—we’re getting the combine ready to start cutting corn and beans. We just got our chopping done on about 50 acres of corn silage for our cattle, and we're ready to start harvesting the rest.
In my neighborhood, I'm probably a little bit behind some of these guys, but beans don't take very long to cut once you start going (if you don't have any trouble). You're taking such a wide swath, and there's just not near as much product compared to corn. There’s about a third less grain to haul to the bins, so our soybeans will be short, hopefully.
The cooler-than-normal summer hasn’t got me concerned, but I don’t think it’s helped my beans any. I would have liked to see it a little warmer for my crop, but at least we’ve been staying dry.
These last few weeks we’ve been really busy with harvest. I’m tired. And my wife started back teaching, so yeah, it’s been an adjustment. We’re over halfway done with our corn, and we started cutting beans this week. We’ll have the rest wrapped up by October 1st at the latest.
I’m lucky. We use a propane drier to dry our corn — we’ve had ours for 20 years —but most people down here don’t have them.
The June 3rd storm was rather devastating for the crop. We got flat, golf-ball-sized hail, and it ended up being about 3 inches deep by the time it was done hailing. And then it proceeded to rain and storm. It pretty much wiped the whole crop out, so we ended up replanting. Luckily, not all of our fields got hit so hard, but we did have to replant on our two other farms as well.
I met Matt in mid-November — he rode on the combine with me a couple different times. Then in February, we really started working together. I was finishing up my cropping plan for the year and finalizing the hybrids and everything else. Here's what Matt has to say about our season together so far:
"It’s tremendous when a grower is forthcoming about where they’ve placed stuff, what their field conditions are like — if they’re wet, if they’re dry; if it drains well, if it doesn't drain well. That really helps getting to those relationships that are an ongoing thing year after year.
My AgVenture Yield Specialist, Denny, is with me rain or shine...all year-round. We've been working together for a total of about 13 years. Here's what he has to say about our season so far:
This season has been an anomaly. The biggest thing is we have not watered one full time around yet. The pivot has run twice. We've had somewhere in the neighborhood of probably 14 inches of rain in the last six weeks.