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Freeman works on 42nd harvest as a full-time farmer
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Freeman works on 42nd harvest as a full-time farmer

Paul Freeman with grandkids September 2021

Two of Paul Freeman’s grandchildren, Everett and Lauren, visited the farm in September.

STARBUCK, Minn. – As of Sept. 27, Paul had 2-3 days of 2021 soybean harvest left. He planned to spread cover crop seed and then move on to corn harvest.

“It’s what I expected, half a soybean crop,” he said. “My good ground was more uniform on yield. The no-till on poorer ground was more variable, but the average was close to my good ground. The total on the no-till was better than I expected.”

This tells Paul that moisture was conserved by seeding no-till.

Gary Koubsky of Glenwood, Minn., started helping with harvest in mid-September and will continue until fall fieldwork is done.

Soybean yields in 2021 varied from 7-70 bushels per acre. Ninety percent of the soybeans were very dry, with 5-10 percent of the soybeans still retaining more moisture.

“That’s why I’m putting them in the bin, running the air – to be more uniform before I take them to market,” he said. “I slow the combine down and ‘grind’ it through because those yellow spots are not turning very fast this year.”

With yields, marketing, crop insurance payments, and more, Paul will at least break even in 2021, but it will be difficult to make a profit given the severe drought, wind, and hail.

His 2021 output for the crop production year was about $500,000. He plans to get most of that back, but not much more.

Harvest is not a quick process – the days and nights can drag on with various challenges and the large time commitment can be strenuous.

Paul wanted to remind farmers to thank the various people in the community who are working right alongside the farmers – elevator employees, grain and sugarbeet handlers, office workers, equipment dealers, machine shops, the restaurant owners and employees who get up at 4 a.m., the clerks at the gas/convenience stores and more.

An older statistic suggested that every dollar the crop farmer earns goes back into their community to circulate at least seven times. Without local employers, employees, and infrastructure, that circulation of dollars and assistance to the farmers just isn’t available. In the end, we all need each other to keep local, rural communities alive.

Sometimes, a simple “thank you” means more to that hard-working employee than anything else, Paul concluded.

1008 Paul Freeman.jpg

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