Harvest moves from wheat, canola to beans
As I write this, our spring wheat harvest is coming to an end. For all of our cereal crops we had satisfying yields and quality. Protein did have some variance depending on variety and seasonal rainfall.
As mentioned last month, we had many different varieties planted within my area, and one main difference was standability issues with the high-yielding wheat varieties. Some varieties stood well while achieving yield goals, while others tended to lodge more creating a slower harvest for some.
Canola harvest is still going on for many and likely will be wrapped up towards the end of next week. Our canola crop has been fair, and a majority of farms are content with the yields they have obtained so far. We did see some of the lighter ground show some moisture stress and limiting yield potential. There doesn't seem to be much of yield difference comparing those that swathed versus direct harvest. Both are achieving good yields at this point.
Edible bean harvest is just starting for the majority of farmers in my area in the form of desiccation of the beans. Harvesting likely will start for them in the second week of September.
Fordville, N.D.,-area farmers have started harvesting pinto beans and likely will finish up by next week. I don't have many yield reports at this time. Most varieties look good and are showing fair yield potential. We suffered both extremes of drowned-out acres in early spring, then limited rains during the reproductive stages. Upright beans compared to conventional beans is always an interesting debate for farmers. I'm not sure which method will outperform the other this season. The conventional bean windbreaker probably shows the most offensive pod set, but yields are to be determined in the coming weeks.
Soybeans have been maturing nicely in recent days. We still have many fields that will need the next two weeks to be quite favorable for certain varieties to make maturity. You can drive around the area and notice two things: maturity differences and soybean aphid damage. Many of the varieties that are later than a 0.3 maturity are still holding a strong green color and slowly maturing. We have some early maturing 00.6-00.9 that likely could be harvested towards the end of next week.
Soybean aphids weren't a problem for everyone this year, but for some the aphids were relentless. When you drive by a field and it looks to have a black tint to it, the aphids probably hurt you. I had a farmer leave a four-acre area untreated all year as a comparison versus the remainder of field that got sprayed twice with insecticide. The untreated area appears to have less branching and pods. The maturity was also sped up where the aphids went untreated. It will be interesting to see the yield difference when it's harvested.
Corn certainly needs all of September and probably a week or so in October to make maturity. We are behind in growing degree units in Nelson County. You will often see the Michigan, N.D., North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network site being one of the cooler sites in northeast North Dakota, so we will need some nice weather to finish this crop. However, the potential of a good corn crop is there, permitting we don't get hit by a frost in next three weeks, greatly limiting test weight.
Planning for 2018 is in full motion right now as we are very busy soil sampling to prepare for the fall fertilizer season. There is a concern about the moisture level in the soil profile, and that may limit some of our tillage and fertilizer practices. For some it may even delay fertilizer applications until spring.
I hope harvest is going well for all. Have a good fall season.