VIDEO: Minnesota crop good, maybe not record
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- Last year, Minnesota farmers produced record corn and soybean crops, with a 188-bushel-per-acre yield on corn and 50 bushels per acre on soybeans. This season, the state has been a near garden spot with historically high c...
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. - Last year, Minnesota farmers produced record corn and soybean crops, with a 188-bushel-per-acre yield on corn and 50 bushels per acre on soybeans. This season, the state has been a near garden spot with historically high crop ratings and development running ahead of last year, at times.
But, the jury is out on whether Minnesota farmers are working on another record crop. Farmers and agronomists at Farmfest in Redwood County said, while ratings might be similar to 2015, the corn crop did not get off to as good a start as last spring.
Jack Brodshaug, is a DEKALB/Asgrow agronomist in Minnesota, and he thinks the corn crop will be big, but not bigger than last year, because of more variability and weather stress or damage.
“I don’t think we’ll have a record crop like last year, because last year we really got everything planted and we didn’t have any variation across fields,” Brodshaug said. “This year, there’s some low areas we had to replant. And I think some of the recent storms are limiting us, as well.”
Farmers generally agree with his assessment, and that is reflected in their yield projections, which are running at or below 2015. Tom Haag farms near Eden Valley, Minn., and said his corn is not as consistent as last year and, although it came through pollination in good shape, he thinks his crop could be off by as much as 10 percent.
“Last year, we were running that 185 to 190, and I’m looking at this year on some of our heavier ground, about 170, maybe 175,” Haag said. A lot will depend on kernel size as that is what makes the test weight, he said.
In south-central Minnesota, Tim Waibel of Courtland said, “I would say it’s going to be comparable to last year, and last year we were over 200, not much over 200, so I’m kind of guessing we’re going to be in that same frame.”
Broadshaug also thinks the soybean crop will have a tough time breaking last year’s mark with planting delays in the spring as a result of too much rain.
“There’s quite a few beans, especially in the southwest Minnesota area that got planted in June, so that’s going to limit us a little bit on the top-end yield and then the replants, as well,” he said. “But again, I would still be fairly close to last year, but not quite there.”
And while weed and insect pressure has been light so far on the soybean crop in most areas of Minnesota, there still is the possibility of disease with the rapidly developing crop and a lush canopy.
University of Minnesota Extension Crop Specialist David Nicolai said, “We are concerned about diseases such as white mold, brown stem rot, sudden death syndrome in the soybeans, particularly because of the wet weather.”
But, farmers are more optimistic about their yield potential. Waibel said most of his soybeans ran more than 70 bushels per acre last fall, which is a good crop. “And do I suspect we have potential to do that this year? I would think so,” he said.
Theresia Gillie is president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and farms near Hallock, Minn., near the Canadian border. She said she’s excited about the yield prospects.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to be at least a little bit above average, and I’m thinking that it could even be a little better than that,” she said.
And what about the statewide average for Minnesota? Mark Schultz, market analyst with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis, said his clients are already surveying fields and telling him the corn crop isn’t there because the heat in July hurt corn yields. As a result, he is expecting corn yields to be below last season, but is still friendly to steady or higher soybean yields.
“I’d say Minnesota probably goes into this 180 bushels per acre, and the bean about the same as we had last year maybe a bushel per acre better.”
But, he admits it might take until the combines roll to really know for sure.