Colton soybeans

Soybeans start to turn ahead of harvest Sept. 3 north of Colton, S.D.

Crop watcher Andy Lacey was taking a rainy morning after Labor Day to do some manufacturing work at his business, The Hay Manager.

This is typically a busy season for the business, he said. Dealers start making orders in August. Lacey has also been getting some individual calls about the hay feeders.

The Laceys were also starting to wean calves.

He estimated that they’re about four weeks from the start of harvest season.

“The crop looks like it’s finishing out,” he said.

In many fields in southeastern South Dakota, soybeans are still green and still setting pods, depending on their maturity, he said.

Lacey noted that a lot of corn was turning brown, and that’s not necessarily a good sign. Corn should be dry and ready to harvest, and the stalks should be green still, he said. But typically, he sees stalks turning brown early, likely from disease and insects.

“You should be able to combine corn with the ear dry and the stalk still green,” he said.

Silage production has been hit and miss in Moody County. The work is mostly done, Lacey said, but he saw some out chopping over the Labor Day weekend.

It’s the time of year farmers should be getting there cover crops in. Lacey supports the practice for its soil health benefits, even if the cover does get much time to flourish this fall.

“It’s not about the growth,” he said. “It’s about putting it in when you can and adding diversity whenever possible.”

Andy Lacey farms in Moody County, S.D. He gave his report Sept. 8.