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Corn yields all over the board

  • 01

    Corn harvest is rolling hard in north-central Iowa, an area that faced a unique set of crop circumstances this year. Though it's been a challenging year, the crop is coming in at or better than expected, for the most part.

  • 02

    That's the story on Chris Weydert's farm, that is. The Bode, Iowa, farmer started harvest in late September and will likely see the busy season stretch well into November, he says. "Yields have been all over the board," he says. "Some of our better corn is surprisingly good, and some of our areas we expected to be not-so-good have fulfilled those expectations."

  • 03

    Soil type and hybrid have been the two biggest yield-influencing factors this year, Weydert says. His farm is "right on the edge of ground zero for the prevented-planting area," meaning he faced a lot of issues with excessive moisture early on in the season.

  • 04

    "We did end up getting everything planted, but we planted some corn later than I've ever planted," he says. "But then, once we actually got it into the field, the rain shut off for six weeks or two months . . . a long time. In this area, we were pretty fortunate. There were a couple of 1-inch rain events we caught that pretty well salvaged our crop."

  • 05

    "It's not a great crop, by any stretch of the imagination. But it's a good crop," Weydert adds. "For the most part, it's better than expected."

  • 06

    The grain flowing in from the fields this fall, though, isn't adequate to justify current prices in Chicago, Weydert thinks; he believes the bears "probably got a little too carried away."

  • 07

    That fact is reflected in current cash basis levels in Weydert's area of north-central Iowa, where they remain exceptionally strong well into harvest. "We're still getting paid significant overs, and able to secure pretty positive basis, which is pretty unheard of for this area," he says.

  • 08

    Looking longer-term, though his optimism about price strength has waned recently with corn futures breaking into the sub-$4.50/bushel range, Weydert says he expects stronger cash basis levels to continue in his area to avoid it becoming a "corn-import area."

See how corn harvest's moving along for one north Iowa farmer.

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