Ryan Peterson, Farmer

CLEAR LAKE, Minn. – Ryan Peterson wanted to take the 2019 crops and pull them ahead just a little bit.

The crops were about a week behind schedule as of Aug. 20. Growing degree day units lagged, but nature still showed signs that it was closing its summer shop and moving to the new fall line.

Looking back at early to mid-August, Ryan said that harvesting Bono Hybrid Rye was a learning experience. They dealt with a lot more straw and grain than usual, and initially they may have blown some grain out the back of the combine.

The Petersons slowed their speed and even took a 20-foot swath rather than the header’s full 30-foot swath to capture more grain.

They averaged 85 bushels per acre, which is good.

“We made sure we were getting all the grain, and got the combine adjusted a little differently. There were some spots that saw up to 100 bushels per acre,” he said. “We could have gotten a few more bushels, but we were happy with it and got a lot of straw off it.”

Between the grain and straw, the crop did well enough. The Petersons plan to increase production from 100 acres in 2019 to 200 acres in 2020.

They plan to harvest kidney beans next.

“Our next spray will be for desiccating kidney beans. That will be not this week, but possibly next week,” he said. “It would be faster, but with these cooler nights and 70 degree days, it’s delaying maturity a bit.”

While the Petersons waited for the kidney beans, they worked on their Bob pull-behind kidney bean combine.

The semis needed oil changes and cleaning, too. Ryan made a lot of trips from June through August hauling out 2018 soybeans to fill contracts. He finally got the bins emptied out.

“That was a really good feeling,” he said.

The 2019 soybeans looked good and had reached R3-R4, but Ryan saw disease issues.

“With some rain, there is white mold out there,” he said. “I haven’t seen a lot in our fields, but I have seen with these last couple of rains we have some low spots that are starting to lodge.”

The field corn completed silking and entered early dough stage.

Seed corn harvest must take place before there is frost, and Ryan expected the company to prepare for that harvest in early September. On Aug. 17, the seed corn company knocked down all of the male rows. Multi-blade attachments are mounted on a self-propelled de-tasseling machine to chop up and stomp down the corn plants.

“It’s got a dozen or more heavy-duty metal blades, and as those spin, it knocks the plants down and cuts them up,” said Ryan. He added that the units are very heavy and have hydraulic down-pressure to make certain the male cobs and plants are down on the ground. They don’t want to hit the stalks with their seed corn combine. The entire seed corn ear is picked and hauled to a processing facility for dry down and processing.

Back in the cattle yard, the Petersons had not yet found cattle they wanted to buy. Feeder cattle prices moved higher, and finished cattle prices skated lower. Ryan remained patient with his purchases.

There were many projects to finish up in late August.

Ryan built a bathroom for the farm shop and a water line had to be laid in place.

“We have to time it right, because the well we are using also feeds to our cattle waterers,” he said. “We have to have everyone there and ready to switch it over so the cattle aren’t without water for more than half a day. We’ll do it all in one morning.”

Then, the big round bales of rye straw needed to be picked up and moved back to the farm. Wet field conditions didn’t make that easy.

Finally, the Petersons heard back from the hail adjuster about their many-roofs-replacement-project straight ahead. They are trying to figure out how to go forward with the repairs. They weren’t sure if it would be this fall or next spring when all of the roofs are fixed.

“Right now, we’re just hurrying up and waiting, so we’re just trying to get everything done and we’ll see where this fall takes us,” he said. “The next two weeks will be interesting.”

Whitney and Ryan’s new baby is due at the end of the month, to join their children, Hunter and Weston.

“Hopefully, my wife having a baby will be the next thing,” he said.

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