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Weather aids harvest; yields mixed

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By Dave Bell

Thanks to nearly ideal fall weather, Fayette County farmers have harvested about 85 percent of their corn and soybeans. And some have finished.
“This has been one of the good years for harvesting,” said Ron Marshel, Fayette County Farm Bureau manager. “Just excellent harvest weather.”
Yields, however, have been all over the map.
“Farmers have been pleasantly surprised by some fields and disappointed by others,” Marshel said. “There has been lots of variation. I’ve had farmers tell me that their combine yield monitor will go from 200 bushels per acre down to 80 – all within the same field.”
Soybeans have been a pleasant surprise, he said. Yields have ranged from the upper 50s down to 30 bushels per acre. Averages should be in the mid- to upper 40s, he said. Corn yields, on the other hand, are down from last year, primarily because of the high temperatures in mid summer that harmed the pollination process. Most corn has yielded 130-135 bushels per acre.
Because the corn and soybean harvest has been moving along well, many fields of winter wheat already have been planted.
One side benefit of this fall’s good weather, Marshel said, is that it has allowed farmers to work safely.
“When you have this kind of weather, farmers can take their time; they don’t have to go at breakneck speed to beat the next storm,” Marshel said. “As far as I know, we haven’t had any major accidents or injuries in the county this fall. A lot of that is because they haven’t been going too fast and too long.”
And for late-planted soybeans, the good stretch of weather has allowed the plants to fully mature. The average killing frost in this area occurs between Oct. 15-20, and Marshel said that the forecast doesn’t show that any frost is likely during the first half of November.