TINTAH, Minn. – This has been an interesting year for the Beyers. The soybeans are yielding well. The corn is drying down.
Somehow, despite difficult weather conditions, the crops grew, produced and matured.
Rodd Beyer thought cool temperatures, plentiful moisture and very little aphid pressure helped the soybeans. He sprayed for cabbage looper. They missed the hail that came within a few miles of the farmland. Not getting frost in August or September was fortuitous.
The Beyers know many farmers across Minnesota will make crop adjustment claims because of cold and wet planting conditions, flooding and hail.
“Our field averages are in the 60-bushels per acre,” he said. “For what we thought was going to be an unusual year, it turned out to be a pretty decent year – as far as yield.”
Rodd took a break from cleaning the corn dryer to give his Oct.14 report. It takes a day to clean, grease and check that everything works.
“The last couple of days, we’ve just been catching up on our rest, because we had three days where we were working on our soybeans pretty hard,” he said. “We had some really short nights, and we all knew the snow and rain was coming, so we tried to get done what we could.
“We had a pretty willing crew to help out and we worked late and got up early and the weather cooperated pretty well for three days.”
Traverse County received a mix of rain and snow on Oct. 10-11, totaling about an inch of precipitation. Strong winds and wet conditions made it impossible to harvest the crops.
The Beyers noticed a partial frost on the morning of Oct. 6 on their way to church, and then a hard freeze occurred the next weekend when temperatures dipped into the 20s.
On Monday, Oct. 7, the soybeans tested about 15 percent moisture, but by Tuesday, Oct. 8, they were below 13 percent moisture.
Sugarbeet harvest started on Oct. 4, and then shut down for heavy precipitation. Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative sugarbeet lifting was about 40 percent completed ahead of the Oct. 10 storm. For those who were able to lift beets, tractors pulled trucks and fought mud to get the beets out. Harvest continued around the clock and started back up again as soon as possible.
Farmers across the region were surprised by how conditions improved by Sunday, Oct. 12 – all it took was some sunshine, blue skies, wind and temperatures above freezing. The snow was gone, and by Monday, Oct. 13, Rodd’s neighbor was back combining soybeans again.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Rodd said. “I didn’t think we’d have a chance until maybe Wednesday (Oct. 16), but we’re having a beautiful sunny day today and it’s giving us a little bit of hope.”
With the weather changing so rapidly, Rodd wasn’t sure whether the crew would work next on soybean or corn harvest.
Employees Kip Norton and Paul Sprengeler worked on machinery until they could get back out into the fields – and there was plenty of that to do.
“With our test run on soybeans for three days, there were some things that needed to be patched up and fixed before we make a harder run at it. They’re working on those today. Trucks, and combine buggies, and leaky hoses and battery issues – minor things, but things that need to be done.”
Rodd tried to get his contractor to finish the corn bin project. With power cut to the bin setup, the Beyers could not dump trucks to dry corn or fill their bins as of Oct. 14, said Rodd.
“It’s really frustrating for a project that he promised would be done on Labor Day,” he said. “It’s a strong reminder for other farmers to always have penalties for construction projects if they go beyond a date.”
One of Jamie’s high school friends, Kristie, has helped in the past, and she is driving tractor and grain cart this year. It’s helping the Beyers because one of their older crewmembers hasn’t been able to help out so much this year.
This fall’s highlight was a tour of the Beyer farm by Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Ag Andrea Vaubel. Rodd and Jamie, plus their children, Aspen, Paige and Josie, and Rodd’s Mom, Darlene, participated in the visit, and it was an exciting experience for the family.
As president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Jamie has brought many experiences to their farm, and Rodd has been a great partner as they help each other with leadership opportunities.
Jamie wants to encourage everyone to attend Minnesota Ag Expo on Jan. 22-23, 2020. The event will include a new Minnesota Soybean Growers Association fund raiser at the Loose Moose Saloon and Conference Center. She hopes everyone will stay tuned for details about the entire event.
“We have some real interesting speakers,” said Jamie. “There hasn’t been any formal announcements yet, but I promise they are really interesting. I am always surprised at who they have coming, because they are never names you see at other ag events. This year, we have some unique people flying in from out-of-state.”
Minnesota Farm Guide would like to thank Rodd and Jamie for allowing us to follow along with their operation during the 2019 growing season. We wish the Beyers great success in the future.