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Farmers Continue to Cut Those Beans and Shell That Corn or Do They Pick It?

Farmers Continue to Cut Those Beans and Shell That Corn or Do They Pick It?

Farmers have a lingo all their own. This week, North Dakota farmers Chandra and Mike Langseth hope to finish cutting soybeans, so they can start combining corn.

In Missouri, Zachary (Zach) Grossman also hopes to finish up his bean harvest so he can go back to shelling corn. Or will he pick it?

The regional colloquialisms make for some interesting discussions, but the important thing is harvest is progressing in both farming areas. Combines are rolling and grain carts (no, they aren't auger wagons unless used for feed) are getting filled, despite some weather delays.

The Langseths, who farm near Barney, North Dakota, and Grossman, from Tina, Missouri, have been reporting in each week during the 2023 growing season as part of DTN's View from the Cab project. The feature highlights crop-related topics and other rural issues surrounding farm life. This is the 25th installment for the current season.

Read on to learn more about harvest progress, how labor management intensifies during harvest and how cows can eat away at actual production history (APH).


Spotty rain showers only slowed the combine temporarily on Grossman's family farm this past week. "We've had those kinds of rains that are just enough to be frustrating, but not enough to shut down for the day. We end up checking every hour or so to see if things are dry enough to run and spend half the day doing that," said Grossman.

"I know I should be careful what we wish for, but we could use a rain that gave us a legitimate reason to stop for a day and recharge," he said.

Grossman farms with his father, Curt, and brother, Trent in Livingston and Carroll counties, which currently light up as D1 (moderate) and D2 (severe) drought on the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor. The 2023 growing season has been a long period of living from raindrop-to-raindrop until a deluge of 12 inches fell in August.

Crop yields thus far have been remarkable given the ups and downs of the year, Grossman said. This past week corn came in from some of the best soils they farm and yielding 230 bushel per acre (bpa) to 245 bpa.

"We talk about bottom corn and hill corn here. Hill corn is ranging from 140 to 175 (bpa) -- and bottom corn is 200-plus. I still think we're going to be right around the USDA estimate (173 bpa) for a whole farm average on corn," he said.

Soybean harvest is scheduled to be complete this week. Yields have held mostly in the mid-50 to mid-60 bpa.

A cold front swept across the Tina area on late Wednesday (Oct. 18) and into Thursday delivering light rainfall, noted DTN Associate Weather Risk Analyst Teresa Wells.

But Grossman may get his wish for some downtime next week. "This weekend is shaping up to be mostly dry until Sunday (Oct. 22) night and early Monday morning, where some light rain is possible. Any rainfall on Sunday and Monday should remain below 0.10 in. Temperatures will be mild, with high temperatures approaching the 60s to low 70s," she said.

"The weather pattern will be active next week as rainfall will start to move in on Tuesday with periods of rain showers possible through Thursday or Friday. Rain could be heavy at times. Currently, they could see anywhere between 0.5 to 1.5 in. of rain between Tuesday and Friday," she said.

"But confidence in rainfall amounts for next week is medium as model guidance still shows some discrepancies in how systems will evolve across the central U.S. Besides the rainfall, temperatures will be above to well-above normal throughout much of next week," she added.

To say conditions have been dusty during harvest may be an understatement. "One of the real benefits of newer farm equipment is we're not eating dirt like we used to, thanks to modern cabs. Now, we just have to keep the windshields clean," Grossman said.

Another change at the farm this summer and fall has been having Trent's labor full-time after he wrapped up college classes. "Wow, I can't say enough about what a difference it has made having someone that knows the operation without having to teach it," he said.

"He's the reason I can even wish for a rain day. Having him here full-time has made us so much more efficient as he keeps the combine running all day." Grossman has a full-time job as a loan officer at the local bank that he juggles in addition to farming and raising cattle.



Photo Credit: getty-images-elhenyo

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