Piles of corn are beginning to grow at Gavilon and Frenchman Valley Coop in Imperial as harvest begins to pick up. Here, Collin Courter keeps an eye on a truck dumping at Gavilon Wednesday. (Johnson Publications photo)

Corn harvest starting to hit stride as crop dries down

    As the soybean and edible bean harvest moves into the final stages, corn harvest will take center stage as it begins to rev up.
    Reports from local grain operators indicate the soybean harvest is all but complete. Edible bean harvest should wrap up over the next seven days.
    The wet-corn harvest is moving into the final stages, as well.
    With that all behind, the focus now shifts to this year’s dryland and irrigated corn harvest.
    Kyle Sorensen, grain manager at Frenchman Valley Coop, said this year’s irrigated corn crop is finally starting to dry down.
    He said they’ve been receiving corn at moisture levels anywhere from 15 to 21 percent. “It’s a mixed bag right now,” he said.
    As for dryland yields thus far, Sorensen said that’s been all over the board, too.
    Dryland corn that got timely rains and no hail has been yielding in the 120-130 bu. range, he noted. However, some fields that got stressed yielded in the single digits.
    It all depended on whether the field got rain and escaped the hail, he said.  
    With wind early this week, the temperature hitting the 80-degree range Wednesday and some hard killing frosts predicted Thursday and Friday, Sorensen said corn drying conditions will improve  significantly.
    With the price of corn hovering around the $3.25/bu. range, farmers are not eager to pick corn wet and pay drying charges, he added.
    Lots of acres in the region have already harvested for wet corn production.
    Imperial Beef is one of the largest purchasers of wet corn in the area, taking in more than five million bushels.
    With the corn drying down, they plan to stop taking wet corn by the end of this week.
    Across their trade area, Sorensen estimated corn harvest progress at 20 percent.
    While the Department of Agriculture estimated corn acred down by 1 percent in Nebraska, they are predicting  record high yields up 2 percent from last year.
    Soybean acres were up 10 percent this year over last in the state with production up 4 percent over last year.

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