Natalie and Ben Storm, with their children, Waylon, Erma, McKenzie and Milo. (copy)

Natalie and Ben Storm, with their children, Waylon, Erma, McKenzie and Milo.

Benjamin and Natalie Storm’s children – like many farm kids – were anxious to get back to school. COVID-19 distance learning started back in March. For this social family, it was time to return to the school buildings, teachers and friends.

The kids were attending school two days a week with the rest of the week distance-learning from home. That was working okay in September, but the Storms were looking forward to attending school in the building with their teachers again full-time.

Southeast Minnesota did not experience frost on Sept. 8-9, but received a fair amount of rain, Ben said. That rain helped the crops to mature. Temperatures reached into the low 80s on Sept. 14, rapidly bringing along the 2020 soybean crop.

The Storms had about 65 acres of soybeans close to home that had turned color and were dropping their leaves. Benjamin thought the soybeans might be ready for harvest around Sept. 19-20.

The corn reached black layer and was about 32-34 percent moisture in mid-September. The Storms will harvest either soybeans or corn based on what field has dried down sufficiently.

Most of the equipment was ready for harvest, and there were just two augers that needed replacing at the big bin site.

Ben traveled to his father-in-law’s Golden Harvest seed plot meeting the morning of Sept. 14. Many traits are available, but the ag industry doesn’t yet know if dicamba will be available to spray in 2021, Benjamin said.

He is thinking about using Enlist E3 for soybeans, which offers tolerance for 2,4-D choline, as well as glyphosate and glufosinate (Liberty) in 2021.

This fall, Ben hopes to successfully complete some weed control following harvest. He intended to spray some perennial and winter annuals using 2,4-D and Express herbicide.

Soybean prices rose by about $1.30 per bushel in late August and the first half of September. He went ahead and sold soybeans, but he didn’t want to price too much in case prices went higher. He expected the soybean bid to move a little higher, so he kept a close eye on prices.

Five more butcher hogs were sent to the locker, and the Storms scheduled more slots for February and March. Even though most grocery stores are now stocked with products, customers continue to seek out delicious locally grown/locally processed food. A list of meat slaughter facilities can be found at https://www.mda.state.mn.us/minnesota-state-equal-plants and most are very busy.