Harvest sunrise

The sun rises over a frosty lawn at the Leon Spronk house in Edgerton, Minn. Day 8 of harvest for the Spronks started at a frosty 15 degrees.

Farmers in southwestern Minnesota are working around the clock to finish harvest and fall field work.

“Overnight, large round bales would appear in otherwise unharvested acres,” crop watcher Leon Spronk observed.

Farmers around his Edgerton home were working day and night to apply manure to fields and complete fall tillage. Signs of fall were all around.

“The sound of balling calves can be heard coming from various feed lots in the area, as many are weaning and new calves are placed on feed,” he said.

Rain delayed harvest for a few days. About 0.1 inch fell Oct. 21 and another half inch on Oct. 22. It kept the Spronks out of the field until Oct. 24. The family completed soybean harvest Oct. 28 and started corn the next day.

Field conditions improved enough to allow the crews to load trucks in the field. With five full days of corn harvest, they completed a lot of work, Spronk said.

Spronk deer

Deer come out of hiding in a corn field near the Spronk farm in Edgerton, Minn., Oct. 29.

Riding side by side with the combine, pulling the grain cart in autosteer Spronk has noticed the green snap damage done from the July 20 rain and wind storm. He estimates they lost 10-20% in most fields.

Most other farmers in the area had finished harvesting soybeans and corn harvest was well over half done.

“If we have another week of good weather harvest will be wrapped up for many,” Spronk said.

With weather cooperating, the next big challenge is allocation of propane and natural gas. Many driers had to shut down for lack of fuel, Spronk said.

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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 jatyeo@tristateneighbor.com or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor