On the Farm: Harvest time

On the Farm: Harvest time
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WFIE) - It’s the first full week of fall here in the Tri-State.

It means the corn harvest is well underway for farmers across the Tri-State, but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing to get here.

In Daviess County, officials say several thousand acres were flooded right in the middle of growing season.

Agriculture extension agent, Clint Hardy, says rain wasn’t the only element mother nature dropped on Daviess County farmers this summer.

“We’re thinking the hail hit right there and bruised it. It was right at tasseling and pollination stage when it hit,” he said.

Wally Taylor of “Triple T Farms” says the late June hailstorm caused damage on 10 to 20 percent of their corn yields.

Plus, all of the rain forced them to replant around 300 acres of soybeans.

It cost farmers a pretty penny to get their crops in the ground this spring.

Fertilizer prices are still at their peak. It’s no secret that prices at the pump are steadily high. Throw in the rising costs of land rent, machinery, labor, and much more, and you’re looking at several thousands of dollars in in-put costs.

“It’s not going to be a big profitable year, but it’ll all work out,” said Taylor.

Taylor is hoping he can pick up the slack by practicing cover crop management.

He’s growing wheat this fall. It’s cheaper and easier to grow than corn and soybeans, and it actually helps him out for the next growing season.

“It helps the soil erosion during the winter when there’s not a crop growing, that’s one thing. Another thing is, it’s also soil health. We get a good root mass. It makes a good organic matter. It’s not eroding away your nutrients, and then when we burn it down next spring, it’ll put that (nutrients) back in the soil. So, we’re saving,” said Taylor.

A bountiful harvest is something farmers rely on to provide for themselves and their families, but it’s also vital to the entire community.

“You have the self-employed farmer, and you have the employees and family members of that farm, but there’s such a network of supply businesses, equipment repair shops of other people, the banks, the lending institutions, the farm insurance. There’s so many other jobs that are agricultural affiliated because of the land resource and blessings we got in this area.”

Taylor says they’re learning and adapting with each passing harvest year.

“You know we do everything we can to grow the best crop, but you know, mother nature is the deciding factor,” he said.

Hardy says the jury is still out on how the soybean harvest will do this year.

He says there is a wide price spread on the value of a bushel of corn, to the value of a bushel of soybeans. Now the soybean value is much greater and its less of a risk to grow.

He thinks next year, Tri-State farmers will plant more soybeans and less corn.