Blog

Field Notes

NCGA's tenth season of Field Notes is in a new blog format. Check back for quick looks into what real farmers see in terms of crop progress and gain insight into how the crop of 2020 is doing from firsthand sources.

Oct 19, 2020

North Dakota and Minnesota Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “The next five days will be even more interesting than the last. Forecasts call for one to three inches of snow tonight. I haven’t seen an amount yet, but Thursday holds the potential for snow, and we could get a full foot on Sunday.   “The good thing is that, if we can run most of tonight until midnight or one a.m., there will only be about 80 to 100 acres left standing.   “It is interesting. We have combined two corn crops of 16 percent or less moisture corn in five and a half months.   “To date, the harvest has gone well in terms of weather and not having the challenges of the last two years. That has been a blessing.   “This year, corn is 13.5 to 17 percent moisture with good test weights, for us, above 56 pounds. Our fields on the higher ground did well with above-average yields. The fields that we are in now couldn’t handle the water and have reduced yields. There was flat out too much water.”   – Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer   “Corn harvest is coming...

Read More

Oct 13, 2020

Illinois and Ohio Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“We have about 800 acres of corn left to harvest and, from what we are seeing, yields range from 20 bushels per acre over average to average. The corn has been consistently wet though, with moisture around 18 percent. So, we have had to dry the corn this year.   “Our farm always plants side-by-side trials of corn. The weather event the night of the derecho this summer showed which varieties best withstood strong wind.”   – Jim Raben, Illinois farmer     “Right now, we’re cutting beans. The lowest corn yields that we have seen are in the 150 to 175 bushel-per-acre range. Most of the corn acres seem to have done average or better. The weather is great right now, and we just keep going.”   – Patty Mann, Ohio farmer

Read More

Oct 5, 2020

Nebraska and Kansas Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “We are done with soybean harvest and planting cover crops on old bean ground. Next, we’re starting to harvest some high-moisture corn today or tomorrow.   “The corn is drying down well. We are anxious to get rolling and see what we have out there. The warmer-than-normal weather has helped dry down the crop. So, we should have a pleasant week to harvest, if we can keep the breakdowns away.   “The dryness from August hasn’t let up at all. Combine fires are in the back of everyone’s minds. We almost had one at the end of soybean harvest when a bearing that was going out on the combine-created embers. We stopped, put them out and made repairs.   “We’re weaning calves, and this has slowed down corn harvest. We plan on moving cows into corn stalks the minute we have a field or two harvested.”   – Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer     “Things are decent. It looks like a majority of fields will have better than average yields. We’re still harvesting, but the weather has been...

Read More

Sep 28, 2020

Missouri and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“Harvest is going well in terms of the corn yields we’re seeing. The moisture content is still high right now, but we are working at a good pace. We are keeping up with the drying right now. Last night, it rained a little, but it hasn’t slowed us down.”   – Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer       “Looking at our crop with the drone, our corn is standing well at this time. Yet, like everyone says here, the corn is variable.   “The moisture content has been 18 to 25 percent, and yields have been 170 to 200 bushel-per acre range.  Our kernels are better than I thought they would be. They are not shallow and test weights are okay.  I have heard of some low-test weights and low yields on lighter ground.  On our sandy soil, yields are in the 140s. All in all, I am happy with what I have gotten so far.  I have to remember I have had very little rain since July and most of it came in September.     “Maybe some agronomist can identify the brown/black on my corn?  It is in a small...

Read More

Sep 21, 2020

Minnesota and Ohio Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “Our corn crop looks good. We harvested a couple of fields of soybeans this week and may harvest corn next week. We are excited about the way that they are looking.”   – Bryan Biegler,  Minnesota farmer     “We are getting very close to harvest. A couple of weeks ago, we thought we would be harvesting by now, but early September rains and cool temperatures slowed us down. Hopefully, we can begin harvesting here by the end of this week. Overall, it looks like we will have good yields.”   – Patty Mann – Ohio farmer  

Read More

Sep 14, 2020

Illinois and North Dakota Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“Harvest has started, and we should have soybeans in by Wednesday. Then, we will start with corn. We tried to harvest one acre that had been impacted by the strong winds here the day of the derecho. In an hour, we only pulled in 180 bushels. Hopefully, there are only the few, spotty acres that were hit, which is what we are seeing now.”   – Jim Raben, Illinois farmer   “We dealt with frost and a freeze September 8 and 9. We saw a low of 31 degrees, but there were 27- and 28-degree readings nearby. We’re still assessing the result this will have on our crop.   “On our farm, the biggest challenge has been getting 1.5 times the normal amount of rain in June, July, and August with soil that was already saturated going into it. Things looked much better a month ago. I am optimistic we will have an average yield from our corn, but it will be average at best.”   – Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer

Read More

Sep 8, 2020

Kansas and Nebraska Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “Forecasts say that we are getting cooler weather and more moisture this week. If it does stay dry enough, we may start picking some high-moisture corn at the end of the week. So far, we are seeing decent test weights and yields but, given temperatures that topped 90 degrees and strong winds over the weekend, the test weights might not be as good as they could have been.”   – Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer     “Tonight’s forecast shows that our low temperature should be 34 degrees, which would keep precipitation from turning into snow. Last night, we saw rain and hail, and it hasn’t climbed out of the 30s yet today. A hard frost would take some off our top-end yield. Even the temperatures already here might stop the corn from filling out the kernels. If we had gotten another ten days of warm, sunny weather, we would have had a great crop.”   – Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer

Read More

Aug 31, 2020

Iowa and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “Corn is maturing more quickly than we thought it would. For the first week of September, we are pretty far along for northern Iowa. North of me, they started harvesting seed stock. My neighbor hand-shelled some corn at 35 percent.”   – April Hemmes, Iowa farmer   “The corn has fired, but the ears haven’t flipped down yet. We chopped silage last week. Harvest is still about 10 to 14 days out, so it is a waiting game.”   – Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer

Read More

Aug 24, 2020

Minnesota Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“Our crops are looking good. The corn is denting. Dry areas are starting to show up now though. A shot of rain now would help finish the crop off.” – Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer  

Read More

Aug 17, 2020

Kansas and Ohio Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“Our corn is in surprisingly good condition. Right now, I would say that most are good, and some would be considered excellent. Even some of our less productive ground will do fairly well this year.  The fields we planted first are close to black layer while the corn planted later in the spring is in the late milk stage of development.”   – Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer “Our corn crop is looking better since we got rain on Friday. Different fields vary, but all got from one-half to three inches of precipitation. In general, the amount of moisture we have now should get us through finishing.  The fields we planted earlier are in good condition but may yield less due to a dry early July. Right now, the cooler temperatures and morning dew are helping quite a bit.”   – Patty Mann, Ohio farmer

Read More