Martey Stewart cattle sale

Crop Watcher Martey Stewart looks in on a pen of a cattle at West Point Livestock Auction. The sale barn held its customer appreciation barbecue, with a local cattlemen’s group grilling 700 burgers Aug. 19.

In northeastern Nebraska, crop watcher Martey Stewart noted the changing of seasons as harvest continues.

“The ghost and goblins have come and gone. Along came daylight savings time and still many hours in the combine,” he said.

Farmers in the Dixon area were scrambling to complete harvest. Soybeans were all but done with good yields from 50 to 75 bushels per acre reported across northeastern Nebraska, Stewart said.

Corn harvest was going strong. He estimated about 60% of the work was done with bountiful yields. The favorable forecast over the first week of November would help things along, and harvest could wrap up in the next two weeks.

The biggest concern is moisture content. Some fields need some extended drying weather, Stewart said.

Lots of calves in the area were being weaned. Stewart heard reports of lower weaning weights – 25 to 50 pounds less, on average. That’s due to adverse spring weather conditions and washy grass grazing conditions through the spring and summer, he said.

“On the positive side, cows are getting moved to corn stalks and getting a chance to put on some weight going into the winter season,” he added.

Stewart has seen some mowing their lawns and some hay being put up – the first time he’s seen such activity stretch into November. Corn stalks and bean stubble were being baled for winter feed.

After a day of work at the sale barn checking in cattle, Stewart was impressed with the quality.

“I am still convinced we have some of the best cattle producers right here in northeast Nebraska,” he said, adding that it’s always a pleasure to visit with producers who tell their stories and share their pride in the product they produce.

“Even though we have had a lot of adverse weather conditions this past year, we still have a lot to be thankful for in northeast Nebraska getting to do what we love - farm and ranch,” Stewart said.

He reminds everyone to be safe while finishing harvest work and other fall projects.

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Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor