About two weeks ago we experienced an area-wide killing freeze for corn. Everyone made the most of available dry-weather conditions to finish corn-silage harvest, harvest soybeans, spread or inject manure, and/or finish any remaining vegetable harvest. Most crops have been harvested and removed except for corn for grain, or for probably about half of that to be harvested as high-moisture grain.

We basically finished soybean harvest this past Thursday night; we had about 10 acres to harvest Friday afternoon. We will be immediately switching to corn and focus on opening fields to harvest end rows. We’ve been watching the weather forecasts. Temperatures have been colder than normal the past week to 10 days. Forecasts are calling for them to stay colder than normal for several days. We’re concerned that toward the end of this week daily temperatures are forecast to be less than freezing at best, with lows in the teens. We’ll focus on combining corn to the pivot bases so irrigation lines can be blown out to remove any water in the lines before freeze damage.

Dairy operations have been spreading manure on ground where corn silage had been harvested. In those cases some tillage has been done to work manure into the ground. Those that inject manure during the application process complete both the spreading and tillage process in one pass.

As we go further into corn harvest it will be interesting to see how each variety performed. The variety will only be part of the story because planting date and stage of crop development at the freeze-killing date will all play a role this year.

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Don Lutz of Scandinavia, Wisconsin, is one of the Wisconsin representatives on the board of the American Soybean Association. He farms 1,350 acres in Waupaca and Portage counties with his brother and nephew, as well as finishes Holstein steers. Lutz is retired from the National Agricultural Statistics Service of Washington, D.C.