Berryton, Kan.

Corn harvest has begun, after a short rain delay last week. The first small field that we were able to harvest was planted to a shorter season variety and did not have a full stand. It was planted just prior to the onset of those cold, rainy days at the end of April, and we didn’t have time to replant it. Yield was less than hoped, even discounting for the reduced number of plants.

Next week will bring us into fuller season hybrids without stand issues, and yields will significantly exceed the first bit picked.

The soybeans continue to look very good. Areas north of ours, toward the Nebraska state line, have begun to turn, and ours here will not be far behind. Taking some pod counts gives us optimism for above average results from the beans.

If the stars align, it could push the record crop from two years ago, but I am not expecting our best-ever bean crop to come when it was all planted in mid-June. I would be quite happy to be wrong about that.

I enjoy harvest, much as I imagine most farmers do. For me, I like that it’s our one chance a year to get irrefutable feedback on our management choices. We tried several new tweaks this year, and it will take some time to sort through the data to find out what helped and what didn’t.

The exceptionally wet summer will muddy the analysis some (no pun intended) as extreme conditions create more variability to sort through in search of usable forward-looking truth. That sort of analysis was one of the most interesting aspects of my prior career, and I honestly look forward to the project.

On an unrelated note, it perked my ears up when I heard at recent field days about seed prices coming down some. It will be interesting to see how much of those statements are meaningful and how much is marketing fluff. Time will tell.

Local basis: corn -0.15, soybeans -0.70, hard red wheat -0.10. – Ryan Johnson

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