Snow Before Thanksgiving As the 2019 harvest dragged on, [...]
Trent is about 35% done with his corn harvest. He wants to get his beans out first. The corn maturity is also irregular and spread-out for the same reasons as the beans.
Trent visited the Farm Progress Show in Decatur this week, to keep up with new developments and enjoy the friendly greetings of the various ag sales people.
Trent Brandenburg said, "The corn looks amazingly well for the conditions it was planted in. He continued, "Beans are a different story. There aren't any nice-looking bean fields because of the spotty germination."
Trent Brandenburg says 2019 is the latest planting year he ever experienced. At the end of May, he has planted NO soybeans and has about 140 acres of corn left to plant. His earliest-planted corn (April) is up 8 to 12 inches and looking good. The rest of his corn "is all over the place, from 3 to 4 inches tall on up." None of his seed was planted in ideal conditions, "but the calendar says you have to," Trent added wryly.
At the end of April, 2019, Trent Brandenburg has only 100 acres of corn planted. He is usually nearly done with planting at this time of year. "It'd be different if I was the only farmer in Illinois who didn't have a crop in," Trent observed. "I've planted corn in May before and it did fine."
Trent Brandenburg is not happy about the prospect of "a couple more inches" of rain this week. The soil is already too wet to work, he noted, but there is no standing water. "If it warms up, it will dry out fast," he observed. So "it's too soon to tell." Trent does not expect to plant anything before April tenth "at the earliest."
With the central Illinois prairie covered with snow, Trent sat down in his warm office to look back and ahead. 2018 "was a decent year, but not a record-breaker. We had good weather and good production, but the markets were not friendly." Trent continued by observing that the federal government shutdown has stopped USDA crop reports so the markets have no current information about final yield figures, export sales, status of various inventories, and similar information which ordinarily moves the market. Without the current reports, the markets are in a holding pattern, unsure of direction.
Trent Brandenburg is very happy to look back on a crop year that was much better than expected. A long stretch of wet weather during planting time made Trent plant his soybeans before his corn because some cornfields were too wet to work. As the season progressed, a remarkable series of almost perfectly-spaced rains caused corn ear-fill and soybean pod-fill to exceed early-season predictions. Trent's yields were very good, but not quite record-level.
Trent Brandenburg is happy with his soybean crop this year, "the yield is far surpassing what I expected, now if only we can get the prices up." Trent harvested a about 200 acres of corn and decided it was too wet (22% moisture) so he started on his soybeans.