field report

Name: K. Lucas

Location: Rock Port, MO

How many acres are you farming?: 1001-2500 

What is the current weather and how has the weather been?  Yesterday the temp reached 70 with a slight breeze.  Ideal harvest conditions following a couple days of light rain.  Down to 3 or 4 days good running to finish soybeans.  Corn is all done.  Week-long rains this fall in N.W.  Missouri caused delays, frayed nerves, and some crop damage but adequate dry periods, bigger equipment, and long hours have reduced the job to a manageable size.  Don't remember seeing pastures so green this late.  Will be a novelty starting next season with subsoil moisture--a nice one.

What is the current status of crops/livestock? Sons' cattle--cows and feeders have been grazing stalks for 5 or 6 weeks and are in excellent condition.  Also, have access to good grass.  Harvest will be done this week--barring rain.  Yields have been from good to very good for both corn & beans.  More variation in the beans.  Fields do not seem to have suffered much erosion so fall fertilization and anhydrous will begin soon.

What is your outlook for the upcoming weeks?: Continuing to cut and spray sprouts from terraces and fence rows and to scout ditches for leveling before fall work.  Check for terrace breaches and tile line problems.  Schedule any needed repairs.  Do very limited tillage.  Checking the status of stored grain-made easier by natural drying this season.  Cleaning and storage of harvest equipment.  Combine and heads to a dealer for inspection and needed repairs before storage.  Sit down with soil nutrient reps to determine fertilizer, lime, etc. needs.

Any advice for anyone else in your area dealing with similar conditions?: Have as much preparation done ahead of time as possible.  Manpower lined out.  Equipment inspected and overhauled, bins cleaned and fumigated, and fields inspected for maturity and damage to determine the order of harvest.  Check elevator hours of operation to plan for grain distribution-truck or grain bin.  Use a flag vehicle when moving down the road.  Even with 50 years harvest experience, it still bothers me to top a hill and meet a dualled-up combine or huge auger cart--often on my half of the road.  I generally know how to handle the situation, but not everyone does.  I know we are often short of help in these situations and don't want to take the time but thinking of the possible consequences should help us to learn to think ahead and have that extra body and vehicle on hand.


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