August 2014 Farm Report
Trent Brandenburg, along with most central Illinois farmers, has watched the slow development of “bin-busting” corn and soybean crops in this unusually cool summer. Fortunately the past week has provided the 90-degree temperatures more typical of August. The corn crop has responded with development that had been falling behind due to the cool temperatures. Trent estimates that he is about two weeks away from beginning his corn harvest, of the earliest (April 18-19) planting of corn, and a month away from harvesting soybeans.
Trent notes that “The only place the crop is safe is in the bin or in the elevator.” So he is still worried about weather damage, as some corn in a neighboring area was partially flattened in a recent storm. Trent’s challenge at the moment is weighing how much drying he can get in the field, versus paying the elevator. With the big crop this year, Trent sees the possibility of shorter hours for dumping at the elevator, due to the elevator drying capacity being consumed with the large, wet crop. Trent’s corn is currently running at 35% moisture. So can he risk waiting for field drying but then run in to idle machinery, trucks, and personnel because of early closings due to dryer overload at the elevator? Time will tell.
Trent is very happy with his potential soybean yield. He has counted 58 to 62 pods per plant; an old farming rule of thumb says the average number of pods per plant will closely equal the number of bushels-per-acre yield.