MAPLETON, Minn. – The sprayer is back in the shed and field work is all but done until the fall, so the focus on the farm now for the Trios is getting all their harvest preparations done. All the field equipment and grain handling equipment are getting the once over to ensure minimal problems when harvest is in full swing.
“We are bringing a bigger bean head for our combine home tonight,” said Steve Trio.
The Trios picked the combine head up from a farmer by Windom, Minn. It’s used, but in good shape.
“It’s a nice bean head, he took good care of it,” said Aaron Trio.
The bigger combine head will speed up soybean harvest just a bit, which, could be extremely important this year as temperatures have already started to go down.
“The beans have really done well in the last month. They’ve really come along, but we just need more time to get them finished off,” said Steve. “Just crossing our fingers that we don't get an early frost.”
Last year, the Trios did a major overhaul on their grain handling system. A new dryer was put in that is more efficient and they added a dump pit to speed up the unloading process. They also installed a larger wet holding bin.
“It’s lot larger than what we needed for wet holding, but you can never have enough room,” he said. “I think we're going to be well prepared for taking the corn out this fall and we'd like to start combining that earlier too.”
As Steve put it, he would rather combine corn early that is a little wet and dry it down on a day when temperatures are still in the upper 60s to low 70s, rather than wait and end up drying corn in cold weather. If the corn is already warm going into the dryer, it takes less energy to heat it.
Same is true for the air the dryer pushes through the corn.
“If it is 70 degrees, it doesn't take long to throw that water out of the corn,” he said.
There is also less potential for field loss by combining early. The dryer the corn is in the field, the more likely it is to fall off the ear and onto the ground.
To ensure they have enough space for this year’s crop, Aaron rented bins from their neighbor. They are only about a quarter of a mile down the road, so it won’t take long to haul dry grain for storage.
As a beginning farmer, Aaron’s landlords have an opportunity to collect a tax credit on the land they rent to him, but only if Aaron gets all his paperwork done on time.
“I’m going through the (Beginning Farmer Tax Credit), so I’m getting some paperwork done for that to get sent off,” said Aaron. “It’s due by Oct. 1. Last year, I think it was Nov. 1, so it's a little earlier this year.”
Getting that paperwork in is an important step for Aaron to maintain a good relationship with his landlords and ensure he is able to continue to rent their ground. The program is designed to encourage landowners to rent to young farmers who are just starting out.
The landowner saves some money on their taxes and Aaron, in return, doesn’t have to compete with larger, more established growers for land rent as he builds his operation.
A big part of the paperwork is the budget. Aaron has to show that his operation and spending is well thought out and can be profitable.
Getting good early corn contracts does help make budgeting easier.
“We have got some corn already sold for this fall and we got some good positions,” said Steve. “They're looking better as the weeks go by, especially with the way the markets have been falling, so I’m kind of glad on that.”