It’s no surprise that grain yields in our area are hit and miss this harvest season. With the hot and dry summer, spotty shower activity and soil type either helped or hindered crop development.
Ground we’ve harvested three miles south of Howard Lake has yielded fair to poor with corn coming in at 90 bushels per acre and soybeans at 30 bushels per acre.
In a good year, we’d see 160 bushels per acre corn and 40-50 bushels per acre beans off this ground.
When we did see rain, it seemed to always miss this ground, but the clay-loam soil type helped, in that it retained water longer than a sandy soil would.
Heavy morning dew on those humid days helped, as well.
Ground we farm about one mile north of Montrose yielded corn at a pathetic 38 bushels per acre. This ground always received more rain than our Howard Lake ground, but the soil type is more of a sandy, silt- loam, which doesn’t hold moisture well.
My husband said that while combining this ground, there were areas that would have about 200 yards of stalks that had no cobs at all.
Ground about four miles southwest of Montrose yielded 50-plus bushel beans.
This is a heavier soil type and did manage to pick up more of the limited shower activity than the Howard Lake ground.
Ground harvested about two miles west of Winsted yielded 130-140 bushel corn. This ground also picked up a bit more rain during those spotty events and is a similar soil type as the Howard Lake ground.
We do keep crop insurance, which gives much-needed peace of mind during those summer days when we’re all praying for rain.
Recent rains have only added insult to injury as farmers try to harvest less-than-ideal yields.
Like my neighbor Keith Brose said, “We couldn’t get rain in July, but she sure can rain in October!”
On one of our cold mornings last week, my six-year-old went outside, came back in after a few minutes, and said, “I need mittens! My fingers got freeze bite!”