Crop harvest comes to an end | TheFencePost.com

Crop harvest comes to an end

Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Corn Board.A combine harvests some of the last remaining corn. The states harvest is at 73 percent completed as of Oct. 30.

For the majority of Nebraskan producers, crop harvest is nearly over. For those on the Eastern side of the state, corn is finished, and those on the western half are finishing up the fields that are left.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of Oct. 30, corn harvest is nearly finished, with 73 percent of fields being reported as harvested. This was a huge jump from the previous week, when only 49 percent of the crop had been brought in.

Last year at this time, 86 percent had been harvested. However, progress is still above the average, which is 51 percent. It is expected that corn harvest will wrap up this week, as long as moisture stays low.

“We want the corn to be at 15 percent. The elevators were pretty happy with the moisture levels this year. We were getting a lot of corn in the 14-16 percent range. Moisture levels were down this year which is good because it will store really well,” said Alan Tieman, Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

Tieman, a fourth generation farmer, farms 2,000 acres just South of Lincoln, Neb., with his father and son. “I’ve visited with the corn board directors, and everyone is pretty close to wrapping up their harvest. Even in the Western part they are almost done, and it’s usually close to Thanksgiving before they get things finished,” he said.

He continued, “We had excellent harvest weather. We had slight rain delays, but it was only about two days. Some producers further South never had rain, and were able to go straight through. It’s going to be a good crop.”

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According to the Nebraska Corn Board, “Irrigated corn conditions rated 78 percent good to excellent and dryland corn rated 74.”

The 2011 corn crop has been forecasted at 1.52 billion bushels, according to NASS. This will not beat the record set in 2009, but is 3 percent more than last year. It is estimated that the average yield will be 160 bushels per acre.

The original estimate for Nebraska was 1.6 billion bushels, which would have surpassed the previous record. The Sept. 1 forecast was 1.52 bushels. The actual production for 2011 will be known in the next few weeks.

More land was planted into corn this year as well, with 7 percent more acreage used for a total of 9.5 million acres.

Mostly dry conditions and cooler temperatures have allowed farmers to bring in their crops, however, and rain is not expected in the next week.

Soybean harvest is nearly complete, with 98 percent reported as harvested. This is a five percent increase from the previous week, and is on part with last year’s pace. It is also ahead of the average, which is 85 percent.

Soybean harvest is predicted to be at 262 million bushels, which is 2 percent less than the record. The 4.85 million acres that were planted is 5 percent fewer than last year. The estimated bushels per acre is 54.

Sorghum is still coming in, with 97 percent mature, and 64 percent harvested. This is behind last year’s number of 74 percent, but ahead of the 45 percent average for the week.

It is predicted that 6 million bushels will be brought in, 11 percent less than last year, and the smallest production since 1953. It is estimated that fields will yield 85 bushels per acre. 71,000 acres were planted, which is the smallest number since 1937.

Winter wheat is nearly completely emerged, with 98 percent. This is ahead of where it was last year at 92 percent, and ahead of the average of 95 percent.

Sugar beet harvest is complete, and sunflowers are now starting to be harvested as well. Sunflower production is expected to drop 15 percent, and dry edible bean production is estimated to drop 35 percent. Both are due to reduced acreage. Sugar beet production is estimated to rise 11 percent over last year, due to a higher number of acres planted, and higher yields.

Pastures and ranges are also doing well. According to the NASS report, “Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 poor, 25 fair, 62 good, and 6 excellent, above 62 percent good to excellent last year and 57 average.”

However, hay production is down 12 percent, and alfalfa production is down seven percent.

Many farmers are growing higher profit crops such as corn this year, instead of sorghum and other lower incomes crops like sunflowers.

However, Eastern Nebraska farmers are worried about how the recent flooding of the Missouri River. The Nebraska Farm Bureau estimated the damage to Nebraska farmers at $189 million.

Even with this setback, farm income is expected to rise nearly 35 percent this year compared to last, mainly due to high commodity prices. Floods and drought in other areas have also helped to boost prices.

Farm income in 2011 is predicted to be at $5.4 billion, according to the Nebraska Business Forecast Council. “Everyone is pretty optimistic about the farm economy,” Tieman said.

For the majority of Nebraskan producers, crop harvest is nearly over. For those on the Eastern side of the state, corn is finished, and those on the western half are finishing up the fields that are left.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of Oct. 30, corn harvest is nearly finished, with 73 percent of fields being reported as harvested. This was a huge jump from the previous week, when only 49 percent of the crop had been brought in.

Last year at this time, 86 percent had been harvested. However, progress is still above the average, which is 51 percent. It is expected that corn harvest will wrap up this week, as long as moisture stays low.

“We want the corn to be at 15 percent. The elevators were pretty happy with the moisture levels this year. We were getting a lot of corn in the 14-16 percent range. Moisture levels were down this year which is good because it will store really well,” said Alan Tieman, Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

Tieman, a fourth generation farmer, farms 2,000 acres just South of Lincoln, Neb., with his father and son. “I’ve visited with the corn board directors, and everyone is pretty close to wrapping up their harvest. Even in the Western part they are almost done, and it’s usually close to Thanksgiving before they get things finished,” he said.

He continued, “We had excellent harvest weather. We had slight rain delays, but it was only about two days. Some producers further South never had rain, and were able to go straight through. It’s going to be a good crop.”

According to the Nebraska Corn Board, “Irrigated corn conditions rated 78 percent good to excellent and dryland corn rated 74.”

The 2011 corn crop has been forecasted at 1.52 billion bushels, according to NASS. This will not beat the record set in 2009, but is 3 percent more than last year. It is estimated that the average yield will be 160 bushels per acre.

The original estimate for Nebraska was 1.6 billion bushels, which would have surpassed the previous record. The Sept. 1 forecast was 1.52 bushels. The actual production for 2011 will be known in the next few weeks.

More land was planted into corn this year as well, with 7 percent more acreage used for a total of 9.5 million acres.

Mostly dry conditions and cooler temperatures have allowed farmers to bring in their crops, however, and rain is not expected in the next week.

Soybean harvest is nearly complete, with 98 percent reported as harvested. This is a five percent increase from the previous week, and is on part with last year’s pace. It is also ahead of the average, which is 85 percent.

Soybean harvest is predicted to be at 262 million bushels, which is 2 percent less than the record. The 4.85 million acres that were planted is 5 percent fewer than last year. The estimated bushels per acre is 54.

Sorghum is still coming in, with 97 percent mature, and 64 percent harvested. This is behind last year’s number of 74 percent, but ahead of the 45 percent average for the week.

It is predicted that 6 million bushels will be brought in, 11 percent less than last year, and the smallest production since 1953. It is estimated that fields will yield 85 bushels per acre. 71,000 acres were planted, which is the smallest number since 1937.

Winter wheat is nearly completely emerged, with 98 percent. This is ahead of where it was last year at 92 percent, and ahead of the average of 95 percent.

Sugar beet harvest is complete, and sunflowers are now starting to be harvested as well. Sunflower production is expected to drop 15 percent, and dry edible bean production is estimated to drop 35 percent. Both are due to reduced acreage. Sugar beet production is estimated to rise 11 percent over last year, due to a higher number of acres planted, and higher yields.

Pastures and ranges are also doing well. According to the NASS report, “Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 poor, 25 fair, 62 good, and 6 excellent, above 62 percent good to excellent last year and 57 average.”

However, hay production is down 12 percent, and alfalfa production is down seven percent.

Many farmers are growing higher profit crops such as corn this year, instead of sorghum and other lower incomes crops like sunflowers.

However, Eastern Nebraska farmers are worried about how the recent flooding of the Missouri River. The Nebraska Farm Bureau estimated the damage to Nebraska farmers at $189 million.

Even with this setback, farm income is expected to rise nearly 35 percent this year compared to last, mainly due to high commodity prices. Floods and drought in other areas have also helped to boost prices.

Farm income in 2011 is predicted to be at $5.4 billion, according to the Nebraska Business Forecast Council. “Everyone is pretty optimistic about the farm economy,” Tieman said.