The race to finish harvest
Southern Minnesota farmers had a good reason to be grumpy after a light dusting of snow struck overnight last Thursday.
The snow forced Blooming Prairie area farmers to stay out of the corn fields on Friday because of wet conditions. "The snow causes the combines to get plugged up," said Jerry Ingvalson of Ingvalson Farms Inc., Blooming Prairie.
"We just started with the corn harvest and we're about a month behind on the corn," said Patrick O'Connor of O'Connor Family Farms, Blooming Prairie.
"We are struggling in farm country and it is challenging to say the least," O'Connor said. "When we get back in the field, we will have to push that much harder because we have a shorter window," O'Connor added.
Most area farmers have completed the soybean harvest, which was also late because of a cool, wet August. The harvest "was average," said O'Connor. August is when the soybean crop is made, O'Connor explained. "Our August weather was not ideal for growing conditions," he added.
Some farmers reported cases of white mold striking their soybean crops and cutting down on the yields.
Ingvalson said the bean harvest was off about 15 percent from last year, which saw the best soybean crop ever.
The corn fields actually dried out with some warm and windy weather in mid-October, area farmers reported. Two weeks earlier, the corn fields were still very wet.
Ingvalson said his work crews were busy on corn harvesting early last week with yields similar to last year when harvest yields were mentioned in the 200-plus bushels to the acre.
The corn is standing well, area farmers said. Nearly all of the corn for grain crop has reached maturity.
Corn moisture has been reported from 22 percent to 26 percent.
Ryan Miller, University of Minnesota Extension educator for the southern Minnesota area, said the corn harvest has just begun on most acreages and wet weather has pushed back progress. He said soybeans were almost completely harvested.