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Expectations high as southeast Minnesota harvest begins

Farmers are planning for another good crop this year in southeast Minnesota, according to Pete Collins, agronomist at Ag Partners in Stewartville.

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Ryan Miller, Extension educator with the University of Minnesota, looks at soybean crops growing at UMN's Lawler Farm on Sept. 12, 2022 in Rochester, Minnesota.
Noah Fish / Agweek
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STEWARTVILLE, Minn. — As harvest season begins, the story for southeast Minnesota crops is there’s nothing much — if anything — to complain about.

Pete Collins, agronomist at Ag Partners in Stewartville, Minnesota, said that the soybean harvest just began in southeast Minnesota, and he guessed that by the second week of October the corn harvest would start for some farmers in the area. 

“Everybody's trying to get their soybeans out probably this week and next week, and then after that the corn crop will start to be taken out,” said Collins on Oct. 4.  

He described crop conditions as looking “overall pretty good” in southeast Minnesota in the first week of October, and good yields are to be expected for both soybeans and corn. 

“Bean yields for a low, are in probably the mid-to-upper 50s, and for a high, low 70s,” said Collins. “So a lot of farm averages are going to be 60 to 65, probably.”

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He said that’s probably on the upper end of a five-year average.

Collins said the growing season started off very strong but got dry in the latter part. 

“Here lately, we’ve had the water shut off,” said Collins. “We haven't had hardly any rain in over a month.”

Only about an inch of rain came in the entire month of September for the region, said Collins. 

“It’s been dry,” he said. “Or starting to get dry, anyway.”

However, he wouldn’t call it a drought. 

“We're getting dry for the end of the year, but before that, we were ahead, and we had plenty of moisture throughout the rest of the season until we hit September here,” said Collins.

The dry conditions are actually aiding harvest progress, he said.  

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“It hasn't rained, so that hasn't slowed them down,” he said of the harvest. “So it’s actually helping harvest with this drier weather instead of hindering it.”

For corn, Collins was optimistic that yields would be high again this year. 

“Guessing by the slight amount that has been picked, the corn yield should be pretty good,” said Collins. “I think they’ll be on the upper end of the five-year average, too.”

Expectations are high for a good crop this year in southeast Minnesota, and that might have to do with farmers coming off great yields in 2021. Collins said that last year was a “record crop” for farmers in southeast Minnesota.

“A lot of guys last year probably had their best year ever,” he said. “There were a lot of people well over 200 bushel corn.”

Collins said he could see that happening again this year, with farmers getting well over 200 bushel corn yields. But he expects soybean yields to be just a bit lower than last year. 

“A lot of people in the upper 60s as averages for soybeans last year, and I don't know if we'll have that this year,” he said. “Maybe a little bit lower than last year.”

The one issue Collins said was worth mentioning was some “pretty bad” tar spot in some fields in the region. 

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“And if the grower didn't use a fungicide on it here after tassel, those could be affected, and will be affected, I'm guessing,” he said. 

Related Topics: MINNESOTACROPSCORNSOYBEANS
Noah Fish is a multimedia journalist who creates print, online and TV content for Agweek. He's also the host of the Agweek Podcast. He covers a wide range of farmers and agribusinesses throughout Minnesota and surrounding states. He can be reached at nfish@agweek.com

He reports out of Rochester, MN, where he lives with his wife, Kara, and their polite cat, Zena. He grew up in La Crosse, WI, and enjoys the talent from his home state like the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers and Grammy award-winning musicians Justin Vernon and Al Jarreau.
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