Harvest update: Rain, rain, go away

Harvest update: Rain, rain, go away

We harvested some wet fields because corn was going down – we’ll deal with ruts later.

First and foremost, because of the rain, I was able to complete my civic duty Thursday. Early voting is open here in Indiana, so dad and I went in town and voted. I was told it was steady, but there wasn’t a line and we were in and out in a few minutes.

It sure was better than the lines on primary day at the polling station. It seems often if we wait until election day, ‘urgent’ issues come up, making it hard to get there. So, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of these rain days and cast your ballot.

With another 2.5-3.5 inches of rain, most of last week was a wash out. We went Tuesday and Wednesday, even though it was too wet in some parts of the field and we’ll have to deal with ruts later.

The kids have been studying civics in school. Rachael was able to take them with her when she went to vote. They were able to go in and see her make her selections. It was good to know the kids were paying attention as they told me who they voted for when I got home that night.

With another 2.5-3.5 inches of rain, most of last week was a wash out. We were able to harvest on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. In all honesty, we probably should not have on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was too wet in some parts of the field. However, the field was already opened up (therefore more susceptible to winds) and the corn was going down. I made the decision I’d rather have the corn and deal with the ruts later. In the grand scheme, maybe 5% of the field was unfit, but I don’t like making messes like that. It is never any fun to pick down corn, much less while steering with your brakes. To prove that everyone has a bad day, I have included a picture of my situation twice while picking the field. (Of course, this happened only a day after we got a chuckle of picture we saw of a neighbor.) It didn’t help that the county drain running through the farm has no less than three blowouts caused by this summers’ torrential rains. These blowouts have since collapsed and now are blocking the flow of water, preventing proper drainage.

Cover crop oats

Late in the week, I received a call from a man in Michigan from whom we bought some oats for cover crops. He was following up and making sure everything went ok. During our conversation, he mentioned they had to purchase tracks and will need to install them to in order to finish harvest. He said it was really wet just south of the I-94 corridor. A trip across US-30 into Ohio on Saturday revealed harvest was at a standstill there as well. In the 6 hour round trip, I didn’t see one machine harvesting, much less doing fieldwork.

Even though we had a good early start, harvest is now likely a little behind average. Many farms in the area still have some soybeans to harvest (as of Sunday). We have had very few days to do tillage. I am anxious to get some done, at least on fields where the corn was down. I’d like to get the corn we couldn’t get in the combine to either sprout or rot. Some of these fields are slated to go back to corn. I don’t want to have a bunch of volunteer corn in commercial production next year.

If we can get some nice weather this week, I’d like to start our fall herbicide applications. We don’t have any of the ‘bad’ weeds yet, but bur cucumber has given us fits this year. We have had a contained amount on a couple farms in the past, but this year populations have exploded into places we have never seen it before. Cucumber germinates so late, it’s hard to lay down enough residual to hold it. It is a creeping, climbing weed that just keeps growing. The combine heads have trouble pulling it through, especially if it is wider than the head. We’ve definitely got some research to do on the 2017 crop protection products. I also saw in one of the magazines this week a segment on inter-seeded cover crops…. I wonder if that would work?

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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