We all seem to want more bushels this year. We started corn harvest last week. Yields could be better, but could also have been much worse. So far, corn has averaged 30-50 bushels less than last year but still at average yields.
I have been in some below average corn, and have been hearing lower yields in our area. Experts say tile will pay this year, but I contend hills will pay the bills. Any ground with some roll in it has helped the field average.
Many folks are hovering at break even levels of corn and soybean profitability. I talked to a friend last week and he commented he was in a better mood before he started shelling corn. So-so yields and prices are causing concern, but we also have reason to give thanks. Here are my four secrets to an effective harvest.
1. Good help is a game changer. I can shell corn all day long, but without grain transportation I would have to shut down. I have been able to keep the combine running all day long thanks to two 1,000 bushel grain carts and great cart drivers. Plus, we have a local trucking company dedicated to hauling for us this fall.
2. Rowsense. This is our second year with rowsense. Feelers on the corn head sense the rows, and allow a farmer to shell corn hands free. Sun and dust are no longer a problem.
3. Three years of experience. Combining the same corn you plant is the best way to learn about planting correctly. It has taken me three years, but I finally figured out the right way to maneuver curves on the end rows. Planting correctly on the ends is important since we plant with a 16-row and combine with a 12-row.
4. My thermos. 40 ounces of piping hot Folger's all day keeps me awake!
Am I missing something? What are your secrets for an effective harvest? Leave a comment.
The opinions of Maria Cox are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.