When It Rains During Harvest

Some common consumers are quite concerned about Trick-or-Treat being rescheduled due to the weather. But the forecast that has loomed all week for our trade territory does nothing for the spirit of the farmer who just wants to finish harvest.

Too much rain in the spring means delayed planting. Too little rain in the summer means a choking drought. So what does rain during harvest mean?

Navigating Mud – When it rains during harvest, the obvious problem becomes mud. Combines, semi trucks, tractors and wagons all need to be able to get in and out of fields to harvest and transport the crop. Though they’re each large, powerful machines, they simply aren’t built to operate in the mud, especially when they’re loaded full of grain. Farmers don’t want to get their equipment stuck, and they certainly don’t want to learn what it would take to get them un-stuck!

Increased Propane Usage for Grain Drying – The 2019 crop was planted so late (especially for the northern end of our territory), that we’re facing a barely matured crop, resulting in areas with 30% moisture. Corn dries naturally when it is still alive and 17-snow-harvest_0growing, but with the quick decline in temperature and frost, it’s growing days are over. That means the moisture must be removed mechanically.  Farmers dry grain to prevent any loss of their crop and to ensure they get the best price when marketing it. Most
farmers have access to grain dryers on their farm. By putting the corn through these grain dryers they can dry the grain to the desired moisture level. A large majority of grain dryers are powered by propane, and that’s another input cost for the farmer.

Detriment to Grain Quality – It is difficult to maintain grain quality when you harvest maize_grain_01_0wet grain. Moving the kernels through the combine can easily result in damaged and
cracked grain. Additionally, a farmer would go on to spend the money to mechanically dry it, overall lowering the grain quality. This affects the price they get when selling their grain because damages result in discounts.

Rain during harvest isn’t ideal, but it is another condition that America’s farmers work through when in this lifestyle. Perhaps the silver lining to this literal rain cloud is that this rain will allow the parents and grandparents to see, and enjoy the company of, their favorite ghosts and goblins on this Halloween weekend. Usually, they only stop the combine for five brief minutes to dote over the costumes and perhaps steal a Reese cup or two.

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Harvest Issues and Prioritization​

How do you decide where to harvest first, and when?

  • We’ve already begun seeing stalk issues in harvest, and a simple push test will reveal a lot about your hybrid.
  • Stalk strength will help you determine what you should harvest first.
  • Stalk standability, stalk strength and stalk quality each needs consideration.
  • Growers need to be prepared with a plan to harvest and store late-season, higher-moisture beans.
  • Make sure you give your grain buyer a call now to determine what moisture they’ll be taking so you’re prepared when the crop comes off.

There is more!

Watch this brief video to hear Brandon Lovett, Seed Manager, visit with YieldPro Specialist Kyle Brooks about harvest issues and how to prioritize your fields.

 

A Harvest Conversation: The Value of YieldPro

The variability of 2019 will not only affect the approaching harvest, but also the 2020 season.
  • A well-calibrated yield monitor is one of the most powerful tools a grower can utilize to ensure success.
  • YieldPro is the best way to analyze your soil to ensure you’re making the most precise application to save added expense.
  • YieldPro has many benefits that you can take advantage of this fall to ensure you’re on the right path for 2020.  
There is More:

We invite you to watch this brief video to hear Curt Naylor, Precision Manager, visit with agronomist Steve Dlugosz about the many benefits of YieldPro this harvest season.

 

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The Great Benefits of Fall CN Application

Harvest is around the corner, and now is the time to make the decision on a fall fertilizer application. There are many benefits to applying fall CN, and this week we want to discuss them with you, our farmer-member.

  • Remember: Profitability always comes with good fertility.
  • YieldPro is the best way to manage fertilizer costs in your operation​.
  • Logistically, fall application generally works out better because there is greater flexibility and a less compressed time frame.

Watch this brief video to hear Tyler Kilfoil, YieldPro Specialist and agronomist Steve Dlugosz discuss the great benefits of fall fertilizer application.

 

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All About Wheat

We’re in the middle of wheat harvest in Indiana and Ohio. We don’t market as much wheat in our territory as we do corn and soybeans, but it is still an important part of our cooperative business.

Grain marketed by Harvest Land in fiscal year 2018, in bushels:

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This Friday, we present you with eight fast facts about wheat:

  • More than 17,000 years ago, humans gathered the seeds of plants and ate them. After rubbing off the husks, early people simply chewed the kernels raw, parched or simmered.
  • Wheat originated in the “cradle of civilization” in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.
  • A bushel of wheat yields 42 one-and-a-half pound commercial loaves of white bread OR about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.
  • A bushel of wheat makes about forty-five 24-ounce boxes of wheat flake cereal.
  • If you eat pasta three times a week, it would take 70 weeks to eat all the pasta made from one bushel of durum.
  • More types of foods are made with wheat than with any other cereal grain.
  • Wheat is not only used for food but it also a vital ingredient in paper, hair conditioner, charcoal and medical swabs.
  • Globally, wheat is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food.

 

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As you see the combines rolling while cutting wheat this week and next, keep in mind all the grain offers the American population and beyond!

 

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Changing of the Guard

In the last couple weeks, a single Harvest Land ag center has had two life-long farm couples pull their wagons across the scales for the last time. No illness has caused this finality, no financial defeat impedes, they’re simply ready to enjoy this later chapter of life doing other things.

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It was an honor, that they would choose to come in for a photo during their last load. 

 

What a realization of seeing these farewell photos on social media brought; there is a true changing of the guard amongst families in agriculture. Those in their late sixties, early seventies are choosing to put the combine away one last time and not worry about the spring.

They’re selling what’s in the bin and renting the storage to someone else.

They’re cleaning up equipment so it can go on to the next steward.

They’re closing the books on a record year.

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But…

They’ll still wake before dawn and check the markets while the coffee brews.

They’ll still talk about the weather at every opportunity.

They’ll still stand in awe of new machinery at a farm show or neighbor’s shop.

They’ll still prefer the smell of freshly cut hay or the inside of the milking parlor to any cologne in a bottle.

They’ll still think the next generation doesn’t know how good they have it.

They’ll still worry about safety and say a silent prayer when they hear the local volunteer fire department race through the township on an October day.

They’ll still drive around in the spring and summer scouting crops.

They’ll still wear their Harvest Land hats and jackets they’ve acquired over the years, and they’ll regularly check the rain gauge we gave them during the soggy spring of 2017.

They’ll still subscribe to Farm World, Progressive Farmer and other publications that clutter the station beside the recliner so they’re still in the know.

They’ll still proudly call themselves a life-long farmer.

We have no doubt there are others out there calling the 2018 harvest their last as they enjoy retirement, perhaps they did not post farewell photos taken at the ag center to Facebook.

And we’ll miss them.

Their insight.

Their years of experience.

Their optimism gained from years gone by.

Their tired hands that have known the struggle.

Their passion for the work and the appreciation of the industry.

But we wish them the best, and we thank them for their years of business and partnership with Harvest Land Co-op. There is always a spot for you to visit with us at the ag center counter.

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A Salute to the Unsung Harvest Heroes

Harvest is running on all cylinders across the United States. It’s easy for us to highlight the  tremendously important work the farmer does to harvest another crop to feed the general public, but what about those unsung heroes who work behind the scenes (or, wheel) to ensure harvest work goes as it should?

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Today we salute the harvest unsung heroes:

The unsung harvest heroes are the ones blowing out filters, checking oil and greasing every piece of equipment before the race gets started.

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The unsung harvest heroes spend time thinking up meals that can be eaten with one hand, transported effortlessly or used to feed the masses on the tailgate of a farm truck. They’re the ones who prepare meals with hurried love, deliver meals on time and don’t think about feeding themselves until 10:30 PM.

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The unsung harvest heroes take different route home from school every day so the future farmers can see where Grandpa or Dad are working.

The unsung harvest heroes are the fuel truck drivers who work tirelessly to fuel all of the combines, tractors, and semi trucks running the products up and down the road. They still answer their phone when a customer calls from the field at 9:00 PM, and takes off to deliver a load in the middle of a field so not to slow progress.

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The unsung harvest heroes act as a morning motivator when the future farmer presents his best argument for skipping school and riding in the combine all day.

The unsung harvest hero doesn’t understand what all the hype is over a pumpkin spiced latte. And until her town of 2,000 puts a Starbucks next to the parts store or grain elevator, she probably never will.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the ones hauling the grain to the elevator, spending their day wearing a path on the rural route roads, waiting in line, and eating their weight in co-op popcorn.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the people in charge of logistics, making sure that pick-up trucks get from field to field in order to get the farmers home each night if equipment is being left in the field over night.

The unsung harvest heroes are the ones driving the auger cart, positioning it perfectly for the effortless unload so the big wheels can keep on turning.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the “runners” who log 200 miles on their vehicle in a single October day and never leave the county.

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And finally, the unsung harvest heroes are the ones who spend a large amount of time traveling 15 mph with their flashers on, following equipment at night and ensuring everyone – and every piece of equipment – makes it home safely.
We salute you, harvest’s unsung heroes, for working the odd jobs that no one sees but everyone needs.
Keep trucking towards a safe and bountiful harvest 2018.
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