An Ugly End to Harvest 2014

We had to mud through our last few acres of harvest 2014

What do you do when you're harvesting your last field, which also happens to be in flood plain -- and more rain is expected?

I've watched the YouTube videos of farmers harvesting through standing water. I wonder how and why someone could do that. Last Friday, I learned firsthand. I'm not proud of it, but to be honest we didn't really make much of a mess. Furthermore, it was only 5 to 6 acres.

The ice draped between the cornstalks showed the levels to which water crept out of the ditches after last weekend's rains. Once the corn head shook the stalks, the ice broke. You could then see the water had receded a couple of feet, with only a little water left below. Muddy soil mushed out from underneath the tires, but only cut 3 or 4 inches deep. Completely unexpected.

Over the weekend, I spent a day with the computer log from the grain cart. I had difficulty staying awake from too much turkey, but finally compiled the information needed by the crop insurance adjusters. It appears we will have some claims, most of which are based on revenue loss due to the decreases in prices coupled with average yields.

As a farmer, if you think you may have a loss, it is important to contact your agent, as deadlines for initiating a claim are coming soon.

So how did the year end up? I've been pretty honest with you through the season. The early planted corn was certainly the best. Later corn held up OK, but was off the pace set, by 15-20%. All in all, yields were near our adjusted APH given by the insurance company.

Hardly any of the corn matured properly, and had high moisture coupled with below average test weight. My guess is we just didn't have enough sun and heat to properly fill the kernels.

Early maturity soybeans were also the best, no matter when they were planted. There was a window right smack in the middle of planting where beans just didn't excel. It could have been the moderately wet soils at planting, or just the timing of the dry July. Overall though, bean yields were solid and more consistent than normal, ending 5-8% above average.

In just a few short months, we will start this whole thing all over again!
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