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Harvest window getting smaller

October rain totals around 7 inches throughout county

October 27, 2009
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer

Emmet County farmers should have a window, though a short one, through the middle of this week to harvest soybeans and corn.

Emmet County Farm Service Agency Director Larry Niles said that window should start today and last through Thursday.

"Beans are the things I'm most concerned about right now," said Niles, who noted three to five good days are needed to complete harvest. He said about 40 percent of beans are in at this point.

About 10 percent of the corn harvest is in, with moisture averaging 22-25 percent. Niles doesn't hold out a lot of hope for drydown yet this season.

"I don't count it drying down a lot," he said.

Heavy rains have brought October totals to 7 inches in Emmet County where totals for the normally dry month are usually an inch to an inch and a half. Niles said while subsoil moisture needed to be replaced for next year's crop, farmers will pay more in drying costs. He figures for 50 bushels on the beans and somewhere in the 175-185 range for corn countywide.

If there's a plus to go with the recent wet weather it would be prices. Niles said one producer sold corn for $4 for delivery this week in Estherville.

"We've got a pretty good crop in the field if we can just take it out," Niles said. While corn can stand a little moisture, it's somewhat harder on the beans. While bean harvest season normally starts in September and concludes early October, Niles sees it going into November.

"We needed the moisture. We just didn't need it at this time," Niles said. "It's been bad all over the state."

Niles recently returned from a trip to North Dakota and Minnesota where he saw farmers harvesting both corn and soybeans.



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