Hans Schnekloth lives and farms in Eldridge, Iowa, with his wife Kaitlyn, their 4-year-old daughter and twin 1-year-olds. He farms corn and soybeans and enjoys spending time with his family and being active in his church.
Schnekloth lives and farms in Eldridge, Iowa, with his wife Kaitlyn, their 4-year-old daughter and twin 1-year-olds.
March 30: Introducing Hans Schnekloth
April 6: Hauling corn
Last week we had a fair number of waterways we were able to fix. It’s a little on the wet side. I put on 100 acres of anhydrous and then got into some soil that was heavier and blacker and my toolbar kept plugging up so I called it on that. I might have the co-op put anhydrous on for me or do it later. The river opened up this week so I started hauling corn to a river terminal in Bettendorf this week.
April 13: Prepping equipment for planting
We're 100% no-till, but we spent some time last week disking wash-outs and doing other repair work around the farm. We also hauled some corn and got equipment ready for planting. This week is looking cold and wet. Hopefully things warm up after that.
April 20: Snow and cold means little fieldwork
We had snow and cooler temperatures last week. Not much fieldwork was done in the area. My wife and I built a swingset with my dad's help since the ones in the parks are still closed. I plan to get started planting this week.
April 27: Dodged a bullet on rain
We got rained out Thursday night and started back up Sunday afternoon. I’m around two-thirds done with both corn and beans. Monday through Thursday were really good. We dodged a bullet not getting rain on Saturday like they predicted. I’ve been really happy with the conditions, especially compared to last year where we were pushing it a little bit. It’s been almost ideal conditions pretty much the whole time. Hopefully I can finish up this week.
May 4: Finished planting, back to hauling grain
Dad finished planting beans on Friday and I finished up corn on Saturday. We had a good week and missed a couple rain events more to the south. We got lucky with that. We are typically done in the first week or two of May. I’m back to hauling grain for the time being, and a couple of waterway fixes we can try to do.
May 11: Cleaned planter but left it hooked up
It was a relatively cooler week and then a couple of nicer days to finish it off. Then we had some cool days this weekend. We have a little bit of emergence in some areas, but other than that it has been pretty slow. We are hauling grain. I cleaned my planter out on Friday but I’ll leave it hooked up until we know things are taking off.
May 18: Planters still hooked up but hauling grain
We are completely saturated. We have some little spots in fields but nothing widespread. If it dries up within the week, I shouldn’t have to worry about replanting too much. I haven’t unhooked the planters yet, but we are hauling grain. Most of the stuff within sight of my house has popped up. We have a little bit of damage from the cold a week or two ago, but nothing too widespread.
May 22: Hauling grain, scouting stand count
We discovered a small issue in one of our grain bins this week and spent most of the early part of the week cleaning that out. Otherwise just hauling grain and did a little bit of scouting for stand count and stuff. Time will tell if things will drown out or recover, but it seems our populations are pretty good so far. We are trying to figure out the government program before it opens up this week.
June 1: Heat will be good for crop
I enjoyed the cooler temperatures and not really looking forward to the heat coming up, but I know it’ll be good for the crop. I assume we’ll see a lot of growth this week if the temperatures spike like they are projecting. Our agronomist did most of our stand counts last week and I think we are in good enough shape that we finally unhooked the planters. We are mostly moving corn right now.
June 8: Dicamba ruling a concern
Last week was relatively uneventful. We got a few more second-pass spray jobs done, and I think we are pretty well caught up on corn. A second pass of beans is probably in the next week or two depending on weather. We are a little concerned about the appeal ruling on dicamba. It looks like they said they are not going to enforce it for this season, so I think we can proceed as normal but things could be different next year.
June 15: Beans, corn nearing canopy
All our beans got sprayed over the weekend, so that was good. Hopefully they’ll reach canopy in the next two weeks and they’ll be good for this stretch. Corn had already been sprayed and it’s nearing canopy. All in all, I think we are looking pretty good. Some heat and a little bit of dryness wouldn’t be all bad to establish root growth.
June 22: Corn reaching canopy
Things have looked pretty good actually. We weren’t desperately dry or anything, but it had been a week and a half since we got any rain. We got a pretty good rain Sunday night and (Monday) it’s been raining pretty much all morning. We probably couldn’t have ordered it a whole lot better actually. We are reaching canopy on corn and beans are almost there in most places. From what I hear corn on corn is looking a little rougher this year.
June 29: Corn grew a foot or more this week
There’s been a lot of growth, especially in corn. It’s probably grown a foot or more this week. Beans are really starting to fill in now. We are still working on cleaning out bins and once we get done with that we will start equipment maintenance. We’ve kind of hit the summer slowdown.
July 6: Great not to be baling in heat
It looks like another warm one this week. We are probably going to be wishing we could get a rain – I would take one right now – by the end of the week. We got our bins cleaned out the middle of last week so we are on equipment maintenance. I’m grateful to not be baling hay right now. This would be a rough week to do that. I hope people are being safe and taking breaks when they need it.
July 13: Ready to apply fungicide
We had really heavy wind (Saturday night) for 10-15 minutes and I don’t know how much rain we got that night. We didn’t have crop damage, but I heard a couple of guys say they had enough they were going to report it. We started talking about fungicide last week and we’ll probably start applying it later this week depending on weather. We’ve seen pretty much everything tasseled over the weekend. This is a good time to get some rain.
July 20: Beans sprayed, still deciding on corn
We got all of our beans sprayed with fungicide and we are still waiting on some pressure from corn to make any decisions. We don’t just spray all the corn automatically – mostly on a case by case basis. It’s been drier but with a little rain some stuff started to pop up. We’ve seen some spots, but not a lot of development on disease.
July 27: Optimistic about the crop
We got some of our corn sprayed with fungicide. We are only doing half of our acres, focusing on more susceptible varieties. Everything else was looking pretty good. Some of our ground in Clinton County got an inch of rain (Sunday), so that was a bonus because they missed the rain a week ago. We had some ash trees die on a couple of our properties. I’m pretty optimistic about the crop. Weed control seems to be pretty solid and plenty of heat and timely rains.
Planes applying fungicide in full force
My wife’s grandma passed away last Sunday and we had a small burial service, so that consumed most of last week. We got all the fungicide on that we were going to put on now. The planes were out in full force last week working on that. We got a little bit of rain (Aug. 2) around noon but it was pretty spotty. We’ve gone about two weeks since a good rain, but observationally crops look OK. Plants can be stressed before they show it visually too. Corn had plenty of moisture through pollination so I think things look pretty good.
August 10: Happy with yield estimates
Our agronomist did some yield estimates last week and we’re pretty happy. Things look good around here. We are a little on the dry side right now, I suppose. It’s better than it could be. We’ve probably gone two and a half weeks without rain.
August 17: Power outage but little crop damage
We got a little crop damage, but just patches that are partially down. We had no structural damage of any kind. A few big branches came down on our property, but it was pretty insignificant. We were without power for two and a half days, so not too bad. My mother-in-law in Davenport just got power back (Sunday night).
August 24: Rain might slow things down a bit
We got a little bit of rain before we left on vacation Saturday. That was helpful, but I don’t know if it’ll do much. It might help slow things down a bit, especially with the heat coming this week. Other than that we are just headed in the fall direction.
Aug. 31: Bone dry but in good shape
Other than being bone dry, I think we are in pretty good shape. We are working on some landscaping projects at the moment and working at the combine. I think our beans are probably going to go in a week and a half or so. I think we’ve probably taken a 20% hit on corn yields at a minimum with no moisture during kernel fill. At least it’s been widespread enough it’s had an impact on the market.
Sept. 7: It's still just dry
Last week all the blurbs said “it’s dry and we could all use some rain,” so I was trying to come up with something to say besides that, but that’s all. It’s still just dry. At this point, I don’t know if an inch of rain would do us a whole lot of good. Maybe on the later-planted beans. The silver lining is it’s widespread enough to have an impact on the market.
Sept. 14: You don't harvest beans in the rain
It never hurts to replenish ground moisture for next year. Our beans probably would have been ready to go mid-week last week, but you don’t harvest beans in the rain. If the sun and wind picks up today we might be able to try (Monday) afternoon. The first field is in Scott County, which is a little more hilly. I would expect sometime in the next couple days we’ll be able to give it a shot. This week should be pretty active. The corn probably has a short week, depending on how hot it gets this week.
Sept. 21: Beans better than expected
The lion’s share of guys will be going this week sometime, I’d imagine. We started beans on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 18) and ran until Saturday morning. Then we ran out of beans that were dry enough and switched to corn. It’s been running right around 23%. Anything 25% or under is where we start harvesting. The beans are probably a little better than we were expecting. I don’t have a good handle on how the corn is doing yet.
Sept. 28: Pleasantly surprised by yields
We’ve had a pretty good run at (harvest). We got caught up to beans that weren’t dry enough on Thursday or Friday, then we switched back to corn. We took Sunday off because had a 10-day run and the rain was supposed to come through. If we miss the chance of rain (Monday) we’ll be back going mid-morning Tuesday. I would say we are pleasantly surprised. Beans are where I was expecting, and corn is about as far off as I was expecting — probably 10-15% down from last year. Not off the rails by any stretch, though we haven’t gotten to the wind-affected corn yet.
Oct. 5: Used to working in November
We had a pretty good week. (Monday) we are going to switch back to soybeans. We have to have a row unit on our corn head rebuilt. Hopefully by the time they are done with that, beans will be ready to go. I chatted with my dealer and a lot of guys just aren’t too worked up right now. A lot of people took it easy this weekend and looked at the nice forecast coming up and plan to hit it then. I don’t know if we are 10% harvested just anecdotally looking around. Maybe people are used to working in November after the past couple of years.
Oct. 12: Beans better than expected
We just finished beans over the weekend and talked to a handful of guys who are wrapping up beans. Beans weren’t as good as last year or the year before, but probably about 10% better than I was expecting. Observationally, there’s still a lot of corn still out there. It seems a little surprising given how ideal the conditions have been for the most part. My John Deere dealer said guys might be used to working into November so nobody is too worried right now.
Oct. 19: Beans done, ran corn all week
We had a pretty strong week. We finished beans before updating last week and now we ran corn all last week. Everything we have left is a dry 14-15%, so we can put it in a bin and cool it down. Eventually we’ll freeze it. If we have a good week, we’ll start finishing up with harvest. There’s some intermittent rains in the forecast, so it depends on that. We could use a little bit of soil moisture so when harvest is done we can start putting on anhydrous.
Oct. 26: Snow holding up progress
The snow is holding me up from getting work done. We harvested a day and a half since the last time we talked. The combine broke down on Tuesday — a hydraulic block cracked, and that doesn’t happen very often. They had to get one from the factory and that got fixed Saturday morning. We probably could have run Sunday but it was still pretty wet from a rain Oct. 22.
Nov. 2: Harvest done, anhydrous started
We finished up harvest Friday, so we are doing pretty well. I’m in the process of getting anhydrous started. I’m happy with where we are at. Yields were better than expected on beans, and corn was about what I expected. The weather should be great to get things done this week. We have guys around here who don’t have beans out, so this should be a good week to do that and wrap up corn.
Nov. 9: Time for anhydrous
We had the co-op put on some anhydrous up in Clinton County, and I’ve been doing it in Scott County. They finished Thursday (Nov. 5) and I finished up Friday. We have a few other projects to do if weather allows. Pretty much all the beans are out. I still see one field of corn standing by where I am, but for the most part guys are wrapping up. There’s a couple of waterways I’d like to reshape and some volunteer trees that should be taken care of. That could happen in the spring or through the winter. We might take the weekend off — it’s not often you get nice weather this time of year to hang out with family.
Nov. 16: Prolonged nice weather a boon to work
We have been enjoying the prolonged nicer weather to get a few outdoor things done. I’ve got maybe one more field to put anhydrous on and one in limbo if I do corn on corn. The weather looks pretty good yet here.
Nov. 23: Harvest celebration will be socially-distanced dinner in barn
Things are going pretty well. We are enjoying the last few days of warmer weather getting some cleanup done. We have a couple of waterways that had some washout. We are having our harvest celebration dinner socially-distanced this year in the shop. We usually go out to eat, but making adjustments this year.
Nov. 30: Market recover offsets some of yield loss
The only disappointment we had was we had a really good-looking crop going into mid- to late-July when it dried up. We saw that potential record-setting yield for us dwindle as we went weeks without measurable rain. The market has recovered, which offsets probably some of the yield loss. I’m just grateful that what I’m doing for work and in our family hasn’t been too affected by the pandemic. We’ve been trying to do our part to look out for other people and be conscious of what we are doing. We are looking at more drought-tolerant hybrids that were in the testing phases last year that we might do more of this year, but I don’t see a lot of major adjustments for 2021.