Remnants of Isaac affect harvest

Monday, September 3, 2012

We are stopped from harvesting today, the fields are too wet!  Isaac was delayed, but did arrive during the night Saturday.  Sunday brought off-and-on showers.  This morning we read a total of 1.78 inches of rain (45mm) for the weekend.

We finished the Harry farm on Thursday night; today I totaled up the unloaded bushels delivered here, and got an average yield of 71.3 bushels per acre.  We harvested our Pond farm on Friday and Saturday, and today’s calculation makes that yield at 110.7.  Again the yield monitor in the combine showed big variations from zero to 195.

Here is a photo of the yield monitor/mapping system in the cab of the JD 9770 combine. This is the yield map of the main field (84 acres) at the Pond farm, nearly finished.  You can see the extreme variability of the yields from zero (purple) to 180+ (green). The scale on the left indicates the correlation of map colors to yield levels. This field averaged 110.7. In the upper right quadrant of the screen, you can see the AutoTrac RowSense indicator.

The Pond farm is mostly  flat with heavier, poorly-drained Zipp and Petrolia soils that hold water more readily.   In an average year, the Pond does not take heavy rains very well, sometimes drowning the crop during the early growing season.   It is the place where we installed new drainage tile systems over the years of 2010 and 2011.  The 2012 production was about half a normal crop.  The Harry farm is quite hilly, with good, productive, and well-drained Sylvan and Alford soils.   Typically, that would also produce good yields, but the drought cut back the potential even more, leaving us with about a third of a normal crop.

The dryer has processed all the corn that was brought in over Thursday-Saturday.  We will begin delivering it to market tomorrow, for the elevators are closed on this Labor Day holiday.   This holiday mentally marks the end of summer, so our attention turns to fall activities.  It even feels like autumn out there today, even though there are about 3 weeks left of summer.

Have a great Labor Day.

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