Berryton, Kan.

We are half done with both corn and soybean harvest. Soybeans have been in full swing for the past two weeks, minus two days on corn when the beans were too wet. Yields on the beans overall are pushing record levels.

Most of the beans left to harvest were planted into a rye cover crop. They were the last ones to start to turn in every maturity group. We theorize a number of possible causes – perhaps better nutrient availability, better moisture retention during a rather dry September, better plant health overall – but we don’t really know why. I left strips bare in several fields for comparison, and you could see from the road easily where the rye wasn’t planted.

The forecast looks like we may have a day or two at the beginning of this week to keep going, and then a delay – perhaps several days long – after that.

While bean yields have been consistently very good, the average corn yield is coming up slowly as we get into more of the later-planted corn. The story on the May corn has been the same as with our April planted corn – the good spots are very good, and the bad spots are worse and more widespread than anticipated.

We planted about 40% of our total corn acres in June, and I am looking forward to seeing how they perform. There are fewer stand loss issues in that corn, and any diseases that did show up were after the kernels were somewhere after dent.

Nitrogen loss will be an issue in places, and one field in particular stayed a bit too soggy and has widespread poor ear size, but many of the acres outside that look relatively good.

At the halfway point, our corn yield average is the same as our entire season average during last year’s drought. I’m confident the average will go up from here.

Local basis: corn -0.15, soybeans -0.62, hard red wheat -0.15.

– Ryan Johnson

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