Fall Harvest A Soggy Affair In Nebraska
Rain has been the big talk in Nebraska this harvest season. Farmers have had to be cautious about the topsoil looking dry but still being soft underneath. Take to the field too soon, and there’s a pretty solid chance of creating ruts or even getting stuck.
Young farmer, Seth Houdersheldt farms with his dad, Roger, and uncle, Roy. They are working on finishing up soybeans this week. Like other farmers in the area, they contract their crops out in advance and don't store any.
East-central Nebraska had struggles with hail early in the season and rain throughout the year. This picture shows the low, drowned-out areas where they just decided to let grass grow after fighting to get soybeans back in there.
Lots of beans are getting harvested this week. The beans have been dry, but with all the moisture stems and pods are still green.
Soybeans: the five-year average for Polk County, Nebraska is 41 bu/acre. The low end of yields that Houdersheldt has heard is 54 bu/a, and the high-end is in the mid-70s. In the Plainview area (northeast NE), Keck is scoring yields of 60-65 bu/a across the board – irrigated and dryland.
The harvest in Nebraska has not just been consistently wet. There have been 2-day periods where some areas of Nebraska received 6-8 inches of rain causing erosion, washouts, and nutrients being swept away.
On October 11, corn delivered to the Shelby co-op (in east-central Nebraska) was priced at $2.88/bushel.
Soybean harvest is finished up for some farmers. For others, it has come to a halt. The Plainview elevator was so full with soybeans, they actually refused to take in anymore soybeans for a whole day.
Cover crops are starting to go into the ground where silage is chopped and seed corn is out. Those are about the only instances where cover crops are used in the Shelby area.
- READ: 8 Ways Cover Crops Pay
Irrigated corn is still holding about 27% moisture in east-central Nebraska. They’re expecting that they will begin harvest in around 7-10 days. Early estimates on yields = 215 bu/a.