Berryton, Kan.

As I sit watching it snow, I’m thankful that our soybean harvest is finished, and corn harvest will be done before this week is over.

The final results on soybeans were 14% higher yield than last year, 17% better than approved yield for crop insurance, and finished in our top five historical total farm yields.

Corn harvest is 85% complete. Final yield at this point looks like it will finish about 7% higher than last year and 3% below approved yield.

The story on our corn remains the same. The later-planted corn has a better stand and is performing a little better, but the really great spots weren’t big enough to counter the really poor ones.

The best spots were truly exciting. We have one pivot-irrigated field, and I spent more time and effort managing that field than any other. It was gratifying to find areas in that field that were managed for high yields going over 270 bushels and large areas exceeding 200. There were also too many spots that were sub-100 in the same field.

We learned a few things about our rye-planted soybeans. First, planting directly into full-grown rye didn’t hurt yield at all. Yields on earlier maturing varieties planted in both conditions were not substantially different. That may not have been the case if it hadn’t rained for a long stretch after planting, but that was not an issue this year. Second, the beans planted in the rye held on longer than their non-rye brethren. Overall, plant health was clearly better. Imagery showed them to be the greenest acres on the farm throughout the reproductive phase.

Third, we learned that maturity group matters in late-planted beans under those conditions. The freeze in mid-October did some damage to even mid-season beans that waited longer to mature in the rye. Pod and bean counts pre-harvest indicated they would be our best ones. Actually harvesting them showed how much smaller the beans turned out to be than earlier maturing rye-planted beans. The same varieties outside the rye did a few bushels better. Overall yields in the full season varieties were about 5-10% lower in the rye than outside it, while earlier season varieties that beat the frost were about equal.

Local basis: Corn -0.12, Soybeans -0.65, Hard red wheat -0.15. – Ryan Johnson