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Mother Nature slows soybean harvest

Mother Nature slows soybean harvest

Growers have harvested 32 percent of the national soybean crop

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Wet conditions have made it difficult for some soybean producers to harvest their crops.

U.S. farmers have harvested 32 percent of the total soybean crop, the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin says. That number is up from 23 percent last week.

In Iowa, however, soybean harvest only progressed 3 percent from last week. In contrast to the 18 percent combined so far this year, producers harvested 25 percent of the crop at this time last year.

“Last Saturday marked one week since we got rained out and we haven’t been able to harvest any soybeans since then,” Jeff Frank, a producer from Auburn, Iowa, told Farms.com. “We’ve received upwards of five inches of rain, so even when it isn’t raining, the fields are just too wet for us to work in.”

Farmers may have to make tough harvest decisions to ensure they can get the crop off before it gets colder.

“The beans won’t come out of the pods (if it’s wet) and you lose them out of the back end of the combine, which could result in yield loss,” he said. But “if the weather gets colder and the moisture continues, the pods will pop open and you’ll just lose beans on the ground.”

Farmers in Louisiana have completed 79 percent of their soybean harvest, which is the highest among the 18 recorded states.

Growers in North Carolina have finished 11 percent of their bean harvest. That figure is lowest of all the primary production states.

The USDA ranked 68 percent of the national soybean crop as in good to excellent condition.

Combines continue to roll through U.S. corn fields.

U.S. farmers have combined about 34 percent of the country’s corn acres, the USDA says. That number is up from 26 percent last week.

Rain has also postponed harvest in some states.

Nebraska corn farmers have harvested 23 percent of their corn crop but are waiting for the weather to turn to continue.

“Typically, we would be harvesting for the past three weeks straight,” Scott Wagner, a fifth-generation producer, told the Fremont Tribune. “We’ve only harvested like two-and-a-half days – so it’s made a difference.”

North Carolina’s corn growers have harvested 88 percent of the state’s crop, which is the most progress in the primary production states. Farmers in North Dakota are only 8 percent complete their corn harvest, which is the lowest rate in the U.S.

The USDA ranked 68 percent of the national corn crop as in good to excellent condition.

The U.S. winter wheat crop continues to emerge.

About 30 percent of the total winter wheat crop is up, the USDA says. That number increased from 14 percent last week.

About 56 percent of Colorado’s winter wheat crop has emerged, which is second to Nebraska (60 percent).

The crop looks good so far, said Nick Midcap, a wheat grower and president of the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers.

“We received a few inches of moisture over the last week that should help the crop,” he told Farms.com. “If we could get a little more and pair that with the snow, it should put us in good shape for the winter.”