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Two days of high winds beginning Oct. 20 knocked down a number of corn fields in southwest Nebraska. The downed corn has forced farmers to slow down combines to pick the corn up. (Johnson Publications photo)

Snow, rain slowing corn harvest

    This year’s harvest has yet to entirely catch up from wet conditions earlier in the season, but it’s slowly marching toward completion.
    “People are still going at it,” said Shane Anderson of Frenchman Valley Co-op Elevator in Wauneta. “It’s pretty slow here.”
    Anderson said he wasn’t sure how far behind harvest remains—“My days kind of run together,” he said—but “I don’t know if we’re halfway done.”
    He said that puts the area about on par with the last couple of harvests. Last year, corn still was being harvested at the end of December, and two years ago, harvest stretched into January and February.
    Not only have farmers had to battle some devastating hail that killed yields, high winds in late October took another toll.
    On Saturday, Oct. 19, the wind started to kick up with speeds up to 25 mph and gusts to 36 mph. The following day winds reached 41 mph with gusts up to 58 mph.
    Corn fields that withstood the northwest wind Oct. 20  got a continual dose into the night and into the next day, Monday, Oct. 21. Winds in Imperial were recorded up to 41 mph with gusts up to 59 mph.
    The pounding wind layed corn over and even broke stalks in half.
    That’s slowed down the harvest with farmers having to pick corn at a much slower speed with the head down as low as possible to pick up the downed corn.
    Several inches of snow on Oct. 27 and 28 brought harvest to a halt again. Then, this past Monday, light rain fell keeping farmers out of the field again as they wait for the corn to dry back down.

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