Harvest Leaps Forward As Weather Window Flies Open
After a stop-and-go start to corn and soybean harvest, forecasters say warm, dry weather that's been more common this week should be a common theme moving forward. Can farmers catch up with the normal harvest pace? See all the angles here.
Soybean harvest is roaring forward -- relative to corn harvest progress, that is -- and reached its halfway point earlier this week. Though the pace for harvesting both crops is slower than normal, an expected weather shift should have farmers catching up this week.
Up to this point, farmers in many areas have been hoping for drier conditions as they've struggled to get into muddy fields to pick corn and harvest soybeans. Central Illinois is one of those areas. Check out these snapshots of a muddy harvest scene in that area.
Those conditions on farmers' wish lists are coming: After a few showers move through the eastern Plains and northwestern Corn Belt late this week and into the weekend, weather conditions should remain free of setbacks for corn and soybean harvest in the Midwest for the next 15 days, forecasters say.
As these conditions improve, though, it could continue to send the markets lower; will that downturn be enough to stimulate more demand for corn and soybeans? Maybe, especially considering what's happening in Brazil. See what one market analyst says about that this week.
Earlier this fall, many were concerned about a shortage of grain storage capacity this harvest. "While overall crop storage issues may be less severe than anticipated, regional issues persist," one economist says this week. How will this all affect prices and cash basis levels?
If you do have grain already stored away on your farm, it may have some specific needs to stay in good shape this fall, one expert notes this week. And, that may affect how you approach your harvest schedule, depending largely on grain quality and standability moving into late fall.
If your harvest pace catches up and you end up with a little more time than the last couple of falls to get some fieldwork done, fall herbicide treatments may be on your to-do list. If you're going to spray this fall, don't forget a few key tips to get the most out of your time, money and effort.
No matter how you slice it, grain prices are low right now and margins are tight. So, what can you do to get the most from your crops? Check out a few ideas from farm business consultants and CPAs in this feature from Successful Farming magazine's Dan Looker.
Is your crop yielding to its full potential this year? An even bigger question: Is this year's potential reaching the top end in general? Successful Farming's Kacey Birchmier looks at the current state of corn and soybean yield potential this week and how far it could still go in the future.
A largely warm, dry weather pattern has the combines running hard this week.