|Rain slows corn, beet harvests|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Harvest kicked into gear last week as corn fields began to disappear and beet trucks made their way through town.
Recent rains have slightly delayed the harvest, but farmers are expected to get back to action within the next couple of days.
Steve Bahnsen of Paoli Farmers Co-op said they have been working with dryland corn for the past few weeks. He noted that the crop was hit pretty hard by the drought, with both the quality and quantity suffering.
Steve Young of Grainland Co-op echoed the sentiment, stating that the crop just didn’t get enough moisture.
While both locations estimate that they are only 10 percent into the harvest, both have reported much better results for the irrigated corn. Bahnsen said test weights have come in at about 58-60 pounds for the irrigated crops. Young stated that Grainland has seen a quality crop with similar test weights coming in between 58-59 pounds.
With the heart of harvest still around the corner, early indicators for the irrigated crops look promising.
Three miles south of Holyoke, crews head to the corn field Wednesday, Oct. 9 to get a jump on harvest. Early numbers look good for Holyoke, with harvest expected to continue until the first part of November.
Progress in the beet harvest has slowed a bit recently with the moisture that has moved through town, causing a number of farmers to halt digging until the dirt is drier. As of Monday, Oct. 14, Les Watada of Western Sugar Co. said they have received 13 percent of the crop.
The rain has also made it tough to determine the tonage of the crops. Watada said he is hoping for the tonage to fall somewhere between 31.5-32 tons per acre.
Watada noted that Holyoke’s sugar beets are coming in with a percentage between a high 14 and high 15, which is good for this time of the year. He would like to see them up a percent or two but they are actually better than the factory average of 14.5 percent.
Weather will be the determining factor, but both the corn and beet harvests are expected to wrap up in the first week of November.
Holyoke Enterprise October 17, 2013