Land of plenty: Bin-bustin' harvest winds down
A steady stream of trucks pulls up to the weigh station at Agri-Trails Co-op in Lincolnville bearing loads of grain.
As harvest winds down, 260,000 bushels of corn and 40,000 of milo are being piled into large mountains on the ground near bunkers filled with wheat as this year’s bounty spills over.
“We’ve had really good corn yields,” said Dale Klenda, an employee with the cooperative.
Farmers reported 150 to 175 bushels an acre of corn, a blessing spurred by better-than-average rainfalls of 3.9 and 4.12 inches during the months of July and August.
Soybeans this year were just average as precipitation dried up in September with rains 1.19 inches below normal. Yields at the elevator varied widely — from 8 to 40 bushels per acre.
According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, 90% of the state’s corn crop has been harvested and 83% of its soybeans.
But near Lincolnville 300 to 400 acres of corn have yet to come in. Many farmers are bringing in other crops first, said Klenda.
“Everyone left their corn and has been cutting beans and sunflowers,” cooperative location manager Perry Gutsch agreed. “The corn that is out there will stand.”
The cooperative still has plenty of storage room left on its grounds, he said.
“For beans, it might be a little tight yet, but we will see,” he said.
Room began to run scarce at Marion Cooperative Grain and Supply, but they are good now, manager John Ottensmeier said.
Farmers are reporting average yields of more than 130 bushels per acre and the elevator has taken in about 750,000 bushels of corn, which is more than normal, he said.
A contract to ship 260,000 bushels of wheat to Oregon saved the day.
“We store a little over a million bushels,” he said. “Before we shipped the wheat, we were going to be clear full.”
The cooperative will have one bin empty mainly for the soybeans.
“We got a load coming in right now,” he said as a truck rolled up. “That’s beans, corn’s just about done.”
Corn prices have rebounded to $3.69 a bushel, but some still want to wait and see how markets will react before they sell.
“A lot of them will wait, probably until after the election and see,” Ottensmeier said.
Cooperative Grain Supply in Hillsboro has two million bushels more storage with its new facility at U.S.-65 and Kanza.
The cooperative began storing grain there in September and now has more than a million bushels there, said Dick Tippin, grain coordinator for the cooperative.
Not all of the grain is from Hillsboro farmers, plenty from Peabody and Florence is stored there, too.
Hillsboro area farmers have also enjoyed corn yields of 130 to 140 a bushel.
“Most producers have been very pleased with their corn this year,” he said.
Soybeans were “not terrible” at 15 to 40 bushels per acre, but the crop had the potential to be above average.
“They were disappointing,” he said.” “It was too dry in August, it had real potential to be a good crop.”
But the county’s farmers are forging ahead with preparation for next year’s harvest, he said.
“Most people have their wheat sown already,” Tippin said.
Last modified Nov. 4, 2020