Week Ending October 29th We have made good progress harvesting corn in the Yorkville/Plainfield area the past couple of weeks. Corn yields are highly variable in this area depending on how different fields took the heavy rains this spring. Many low areas of the fields have good stands of corn but the corn lacked good root development because of the excessive spring rains.
We continue to haul a lot of corn to Corn Products in Chicago. Strong basis levels have encouraged us to haul more corn to market during the fall than we normally would. This has put some strain on our trucking capacity since we are trying to haul from the field to the farm and from the farm to market at the same time.
The tillage crew finished up tillage work in Farmer City today and we will be getting back in tillage around the home area this coming week. They are running two rippers and are doing a great job as usual.
Below are some photos from the week and a video from the top of the grain setup watching the combine run.
Week Ending October 15th We continued to make good harvest progress in the Farmer City area. Corn on corn yields continue to be highly variable and disappointing compared to the corn on soybean ground. It appears that the early wet and late dry conditions in the growing season were hardest on the corn on corn fields.
Birky's Custom Harvesting cut our soybeans this week. Yields on our soybeans were very. Field averages were 70 bushels per acre +. In hindsight we wish we would have planted more soybeans but this spring it appeared that corn would be more profitable. We will likely be planting a few more beans next year.
The tillage crew is keeping up working down the stalks behind the combine. Dry soil conditions are making the ground work up well.
Week Ending October 8th We made good corn harvest progress in the Farmer City area this week, averaging over 200 acres per day. We had good weather all week. We are now in corn on corn ground which is yielding less than our corn on soybean ground. A combination of added stress on the crop from last year's corn residue and the fact that the corn on soybean ground was side-dressed with nitrogen are the main factors causing the lower yields on the corn on corn. Corn on corn fields are averaging 140 to 200 bushels per acre. The main drivers of yield appear to be drainage, soil types, and nitrogen management. Heavy rains early in the growing season tended to have more of a negative impact on yields than the lack of rain later in the year.
We had some visitors to the field this week. Kelli, Vincent, and Joel came down to ride with us on Monday. Sarah, Kristine, Karoline, and Keith came down on Saturday.
Week Ending October 1st The week started out wet with 3.5 inches of rain in Yorkville and 1 inch in Farmer City. Luckily we were ready to move to Farmer City by early in the week and stay out of the soaked fields in the north.
We moved machines down on Monday and Tuesday. We started harvesting corn at Farmer City in Wednesday, September 28. Corn moisture levels have been running 18-24% so far. That corn was planted in April.
Yields have been better than we expected so far in the Farmer City area. Field averages have been over 200 bushels per acre. All of the corn we have done so far was corn after soybeans. We will see how the corn after corn did next week.
We are hauling some of the corn to local elevators and some to Corn Products in Chicago. It is a 5 hour round trip to Chicago but there is a good bid there that covers the trucking cost. The trucks are keeping up well and we are able to keep the combine running full tilt all day.
Now that we are able to run hard in relatively dry corn, we have been getting over 200 acres through the machine each day. Throughput in the combine has been running 5000-6000 bushels per hour.
Week Ending September 24th We harvested corn around the Yorkville area most of the week. We have September corn contracts to get delivered into Chicago by the end of September. We were able to get nearly all of the contracted corn delivered by Saturday September 24th.
Corn moisture levels remained high this week. Most of the corn we picked was in the 27 to 33% range. This is higher moisture levels than we would normally run but we needed to get corn in for the early contracts. We we able to blend some dry old crop corn with the new wet corn to meet the customers needs of 25% or less moisture levels.
Yields from the fields harvested so far have been highly variable depending on corn hybrid and field conditions this summer. Poorly drained fields have taken the biggest yield hits. The heavy rains that came in June hurt these fields and the corn never really recovered. Field averages so far have ranged from 150 to 190 bushels per acre.
Now that our early corn contracts have been filled we will be moving south to Farmer City to work on the drier corn there. Hand shelled samples show moisture levels of less than 20% there.
Below are some pictures and videos of this weeks work.
Week Ending September 10th The 2011 harvest season started for us this week. We started near home to make sure the machines are working right before we get too far away from the shop. Corn moisture levels remain high (>30%). We hope to find some drier corn to run in next week. We have some mid-September corn contracts to be delivered out of the Yorkville area so we are hoping to be able to run around home first for a while and then move down to the Farmer City farms later.
We are running a new combine this fall. It is a Claas / Lexion 760. It is the same model we ran last year for the Claas photo shot. It has similar capacity to the Lexion 595 we traded in but has a new improved cab, hydraulic system, track undercarriage, and other features. We are running a Trimble Autopilot and Trimble yield monitor on it. We have not tested it out too hard yet.
Below are some pictures of the machines ready to go for fall. As shown in the field pictures, the corn is a little green yet.