Dry, dry and more dry! As most of you will surely agree, after the past two years I never thought I would be praying for rain. But for two weeks now that’s been the case. We’ve received some spotty relief during the past week, with total rainfall ranging from three-tenths of an inch to as much as 1.5 inches. It’s been so spotty that within a half-mile the amount can vary an inch in total.

During the past week and a half the corn-silage season has gone to full steam. I’m hearing good to great tonnages, with a lot of stuff coming in at about 30 tons per acre. With the dry weather we’ve been having, a lot of good-quality dry hay has been put up during the past week or so. The fourth-crop cutting has not piled up like the first three but it’s been of good quality.

On the soybean front some of the early-maturing varieties are almost completely yellowed. Some is because of the growing season and some is premature due to drought stress.

For corn it’s kind of the same story. The lighter spots are dying or dead, with the corn dying from the top down. Where the soil is deeper the plants and husks are still green. One thing I’ve noticed this past week is tar spot in the corn. It’s much spottier and later than the disaster we had in southwest Wisconsin two years ago. I think it moved in late enough this year that it may not affect yield. But it bears remembering when we make our hybrid selections for next year.

On the seed-corn front we started harvest this past weekend, and currently have about 40 percent of the crop out. Seed corn is harvested between 20 percent and 40 percent on the ear. We have a self-propelled picker with a 14-row head that dumps directly into dump carts; it’s an ear-corn picker on steroids. The corn is then dumped into trucks with walking floors, and taken to the plant where it’s husked, dried and then shelled. Yields look to be decent; hopefully that’s a precursor to the commercial-corn harvest.

As we become busy during this fall please stay safe. And take a minute every once in a while to enjoy the beautiful fall sunsets!

Dave Justman of Cuba City runs 200 acres of his own and manages a 10,000-acre crop farm.