With the Farm Progress Show over, it is time to focus on harvest. There may be some unique challenges ahead for harvest 2017. Combines will be rolling in a matter of days in parts of Southern IN and IL, while most of the Corn Belt still has several weeks to wait for black layer and dry down. Jessica Strasburger, Indiana agronomist with Winfield United, says this harvest will be one of discovery, as growers discover just how many washed out spots we have in a field and how that has impacted yield, “We are going to see where those washed out places are and where disease had a major impact.” She noted that the cooler weather we have been this month is also having an impact, “We need more sunlight to drive some of that photosynthesis and to drive sugar accumulation in the plant in order to get that top end yield.”
Purdue Extension specialist Shaun Casteel says the unevenness we have in crops will pose some challenges as combines roll, “When you think about it, you have crops at different stages out there if they have been replanted. So you will have a field with pockets of crops with good moisture and areas with crops that will not be dry enough for harvest.” He urged producers to be aware of the moisture levels in late planted crops.
Casteel said the variability of soybeans may be an issue, because you may still have some green pockets in an field that is ready for harvest. Despite the cooler weather, he feels harvest will be on time or perhaps a little later than normal, but is not especially worried about an early frost.