Corn farmers enjoy 2020 harvest after the struggles of '18 and '19

After a rough couple of harvest season for corn producers, this year's corn harvest is wrapping up and has gone smoothly for most farmers.

Corn producers in the region are wrapping up their 2020 corn harvest. (Agweek / Mikkel Pates)

Numerous producers in the region are wrapping up their 2020 corn harvest season. After many experienced a rough harvest season in 2018 and 2019, this year’s smooth harvest season was a long-awaited change.

“The corn harvest of 2020 went about as smoothly as a harvest could have gone for us. We were able to get done in just over a week,” said Randy Melvin, director at large of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association.

However, for many producers, including Melvin, this was not the only corn crop they harvested this year.

“It was really kind of interesting harvesting two corn crops in 2020, only five months apart and taking them both out of the fields. Corn harvest in 2019 really did not happen. With the variables of the 2019 year, like the high moisture, we made the decision as a family to leave our 2019 corn crops in the field until spring. We waited until April of 2020 to really get started for the corn harvest of our 2019 corn crop. We finished our 2019 corn harvest the first of June this year,” Melvin said.

The weather producers received this year was tremendously better compared to last harvest season. In 2019, many areas of the region became too wet and the soil too full of moisture for producers to be able to get into their fields and harvest their crop. Snow storms in early October 2019 were detrimental to the corn harvest season.


“There's no comparison between this season and last season's weather. The snowstorms in early October of 2019 made it nearly impossible to get into the fields, it really created a miserable harvest. This year, we were very blessed with the weather we had. It was a bit cooler than we would have liked, but all in all we are very happy with how the corn harvest of 2020 turned out,” Melvin said.

Melvin has talked to other corn producers in the area, and they too are happy with the outcome of this year’s corn harvest — a change that the region’s producers needed for their overall health.

“Having a dry fall where we could get our harvesting done this year was really a blessing. Not just mentally, but physically as well. The toll that ‘18 and ‘19 took on producers, I feel, was really tough. Both the physical and mental aspects. It's been a nice change to be able to get all our work done and not have to face those challenges that we did in ‘18 and ‘19,” Melvin said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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