SD farmer sees strange hail effect
FARGO, N.D. -- Soybean harvest is about a third complete, and moving fast, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Agweek visited with farmers in South Dakota and western North Dakota who were focused on soybeans and the early ...
FARGO, N.D. - Soybean harvest is about a third complete, and moving fast, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Agweek visited with farmers in South Dakota and western North Dakota who were focused on soybeans and the early effects of hail on corn.
LEOLA, S.D. - Bruce Mack exudes the fun of farming, but acknowledges this has been a challenging year, raising corn and soybeans. He expects whatever soybean harvest he has won’t start for another week or so.
Mack says this year started dry, but his farmland received about 30 inches of rain in about 30 days from mid-May to mid-June.
“By the time we got going again, we did get some corn in and got a fair amount of beans in,” he recalls.
Land around Leola caught a hail storm on June 21.
“We replanted about June 27 to June 28 - about two-thirds of the beans we did get in,” he says. There was another major hail storm July 17, and a couple more minor ones. Beans are still bearing the scars of the hail at the ground level.
Mack says he planted radishes, turnips and oats for a cover crop on part of an unplanted soybean field to prevent wind erosion.
“Federal Crop Insurance came up with a 1.2-bushel yield for this field,” he says, acknowledging that’s “pretty pathetic.”
Replanted beans had little in the pods as of Sept. 9, and the fields were still green with patchy frost in the forecast. An agronomist advised him the replanted beans probably wouldn’t make it for harvest.
“I’m thinking Christmas we’d be in good shape, if we didn’t have a frost - at least Thanksgiving,” Mack says, with a touch of sarcasm.
Some of the corn that wasn’t replanted after either major hail storm had ears with higher-than-average mold and smut, Mack says. Strangely, some of the metabolic activity was disrupted to the extent that corn ears were growing out of the tassels.
“That’s what’ll happen when the plant gets that hurt, and tries to come back,” Mack says. “I’ve seen it a little bit here and there over the years, but not the amount we’ve seen in this hailed-up corn.”
After insurance adjusters determine what the field will yield, Mack plans to sell all the corn for silage. He plans to peg the price at 30 cents per bushel below the Chicago Board of Trade price.
“Whoever buys it can set the price of the corn anywhere between now and the first of the year, paid for by the first of the year,” he says. “We don’t have to set a price on the corn. They can price it whenever it’s as cheap as they think it’s going to be. It doesn’t matter to me because I’m going to buy it back on the CBOT at that time, or even before that time.”
MANDAN, N.D. - “I enjoy raising soybeans and combining them,” says Jeremy Boehm, who farms with a brother, Delvin, near Mandan, N.D.
Their father, Lyle Boehm, was raised in the Mandan area, but now farms near Fergus Falls, Minn.
This year started out wet, with about 10 inches of rain before the crops were planted. Another 10 inches came during the growing season, then quit for the past couple of months while the heat accelerated crop maturity. The soybeans were running about 30 bushels, compared with a more typical yield of 15 to 20 bushels per acre in the area.
The Boehms do some farming, trucking and custom combining. They didn’t have any wheat, but they have learned wheat yields varied widely in the region. Some had good crops and others had fusarium head blight. Some of the barley was laid down by some strong winds, yielding half of what it should have.
The Boehms don’t fertilize in the fall.
“It’s something I would like to do down the road, to increase yields a little bit,” Jeremy Boehm says.
Looking ahead to next year, Boehm is considering raising wheat instead of soybeans.
“I haven’t really decided yet,” he says.
For now, he’s going to be busy hauling those soybeans into town.
Following are the weekly NASS crop conditions and progress reports for Agweek states as of Sept. 28.
Rainfall totals during the week ranged from 1 to 5 inches in the south-central, east-central and southeast areas. Topsoil is rated 70 percent adequate to surplus with subsoil at 68 percent adequate to surplus.
Corn condition is rated 77 percent good to excellent, with 63 percent mature, just behind the 64 percent five-year average. About 7 percent is harvested, behind the 13 percent average for the date. Soybeans are rated 77 percent good to excellent, with 23 percent harvested, just ahead of the 20 percent average.
Winter wheat is 72 percent planted, ahead of the 57 percent average, and 20 percent is emerged, ahead of the 15 percent average. Sorghum is rated 66 percent good to excellent, with 43 percent mature, behind the 53 percent average.
Sunflowers are rated 78 percent good to excellent, with 22 percent bracts turning brown, compared with 30 percent last year at this time.
About 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in the northern and eastern parts of the state in the previous week, but overall harvesting conditions have been favorable, with temperatures 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal and major production areas mostly dry.
Topsoil moisture is 65 percent adequate to surplus and subsoil moisture is 70 percent adequate to surplus. Winter wheat is 72 percent planted, equal to last year, with 15 percent emerged, nearly the 17 percent achieved by last year at this date.
Corn is 70 percent good to excellent, with 97 percent dented, just ahead of the 95 percent five-year average for the date. About 50 percent is mature, just behind the 57 percent average.
Soybean condition is 63 percent good to excellent, with 95 percent dropping leaves, ahead of the 90 percent average. About 33 percent of the soybeans were harvested, well ahead of last year’s 8 percent and the 22 percent average for the date.
Sunflowers are rated 72 percent good to excellent, with 65 percent showing bracts turning brown, compared with the 45 percent average. Flax is 93 percent harvested, ahead of the 74 percent average. Dry beans are 88 percent harvested, above the 56 percent average. Potatoes are rated 62 percent good to excellent, with 58 percent harvested, compared with the average of 43 percent. About 17 percent of the state’s sugar beets were harvested, ahead of the 13 percent average, with 84 percent rated in good to excellent condition.
Pasture and range conditions are rated 49 percent good to excellent, with stock water supplies 80 percent adequate to surplus.
Only 4.6 days were suitable for fieldwork, the fewest since the week ending Aug. 23. Some farmers were concerned about blight in corn and white mold in soybean fields. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels both were rated 86 percent adequate to surplus.
The state’s corn is still rated 88 percent good to excellent quality and 67 percent is mature, compared with the 63 percent average for the date. Soybeans are 79 percent good to excellent, with 34 percent harvested, compared with 20 percent for the five-year average. Sunflowers are 58 percent good to excellent.
Dry beans are 92 percent harvested, compared with a 62 percent average. Potatoes are 64 percent harvested, compared with 62 percent average. Sugar beets are 17 percent harvested, compared with a 12 percent average for the date.