Apple orchards are open, school has begun, pre-harvest meetings seem to be happening daily and we have started custom chopping corn silage. It’s September. When did that happen? It sure feels like another year is flying by.
Third crop of hay has been made across the region. Early last week, we had a little less that 3 inches of rain. We have had over an inch this week with favorable temperatures, and re-growth is good. Will it be good enough for a fourth cutting? I’m not sure. I believe folks will be more cautious about attempting a late cutting this fall after last year’s winterkill in this area. It will be a tough decision for the livestock farmers with mouths to feed, needing tonnage, but also needing alfalfa to have enough cover and energy to make it through the winter for next growing season.
It was an interesting drive in the chopper to the custom chopping job this week. Sitting higher driving down the road at a slower pace with the ability to see out into the fields shows how variable the corn crop is. Visible are the prevent plant holes from wet places this spring. Starting to see disease and deficiencies creeping in, as well. Rust, lack of nitrogen, tar spot and so forth in corn. Sudden death and potassium deficiency in soybeans. All things to keep an eye on between now and harvest.
We have been custom chopping 104-day corn, silage testing 63% to 67% moisture, planted the last week of April. We also were out and about checking ears in corn planted on various dates between the end of April until late June. As one would expect, maturity is between denting and recent pollination. Soybeans look like they are right on track with pod set and are filling those pods. Too many variables for the maturity stage crops are in to get a true idea of what the yields will be. We need heat, more of these weekly rains and frost to come late to get this crop to the finish line.
Prevent plant cover crops are looking good. Dad and I went for a drive looking at fields and stopped at the sorghum in some of our river bottom ground we couldn’t get into with corn or beans this spring. It’s a lot taller than it looks from the road. Much of the sorghum is pushing 6 to 8 feet tall, and we saw some of the first seed heads emerging at the end of last week. This should provide good feed and tonnage for livestock.
Looking forward to chatting with folks today at the Compeer crop insurance update meeting and later this week at the ADM customer appreciation night. Stateline Seed Solutions has a customer appreciation night this week, as well. Serving a nice meal with music and getting to know our Pioneer customers and their families will be a fun evening later this week, as well. Have a great week and be extra cautious out on the roadways. Harvest traffic will be picking up, and the extra-long spring will be a long fall harvest, as well.