John Gerloff harvests a field of corn

John Gerloff harvests a field of corn in Montgomery County, in the Missouri River bottom in East Central Missouri. 

HERMANN, Mo. — On a warm autumn day in Montgomery County, John Gerloff had a lot to do, like many diversified farmers across the state this time of year. He was harvesting a field of corn in the Missouri River bottom, near the levee on the opposite side of the river from Hermann.

Gerloff was just getting started with the harvest, having been occupied with hay and fall calving.

“We were trying to get the hay put up,” he said.

But the fall calving was rolling along, and so was the combine. Gerloff said the corn was looking decent so far. A lot of his East Central Missouri area had dealt with hot, dry conditions during the growing season.

“We were pretty dang lucky,” he said. “We just caught enough (rain).”

After the stretch of dry weather, Gerloff said rains in late August and early September had helped the soybeans. Even though his soybean harvest was still a little ways away, he was optimistic they would be decent after the tough weather.

“They look a lot better,” he said. “They had a hard start.”

Rains in early-to-mid October slowed down harvest progress in the area. But for diversified farmers like Gerloff, the precipitation gave one last boost to fall pasture growth to make up for forage shortages during the year.

Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.