Late season moisture could spell trouble for soybean, corn harvests

Weather is still taking a big toll on the harvest, now throwing farmers a 180 by heaping moisture and cold temperatures on as they hope to complete, and in some cases even begin, to harvest corn and soybeans.

Corn harvest is a little over half complete, according to Dan Dalinghaus, manager of the Sabetha area location of Ag Partners Cooperative.

Corn harvested so far has been coming in a wide variation, he said.

“The yields and moisture have been as erratic as the rain was this year,” Dalinghaus said. “So it is tough to predict what will still be coming in.”

Dalinghaus said corn yields have been as low as 55 bushel per acre, and as high as 180 — with an average of 95. Test weights have been above average — as high as 63 pounds, Dalinghaus said.

“This is better than I thought it would be,” Dalinghaus said.

However, late-season rains and cold snaps are causing harvest problems.

“Some of the corn is refusing to dry to the 15 percent moisture mark,” Dalinghaus said. “Moisture has been an issue.”

Soybean harvest has barely begun, Dalinghaus said, and there is a great concern that these continued late rains will damage the bean pods.

“We could see the pods split open and drop the bean seed on the ground,” Dalinghaus said. “When ripe soybeans get wet, they swell two to three times their normal size. If the pods or shell is dry and hard, the beans will split the pod open so far that the bean can fall out. Once they are on the ground, they are lost.”

Dalinghaus said the beans also can sprout while still in the pod if they stay wet for a long period of time.

“Time will tell. We need some of the summer heat to come back,” Dalinghaus said. “I never thought five weeks ago that I would be saying that.”

Amber Deters113 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.

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