Area harvest in full swing

Area fields are full of grain carts and combines, and trucks are constantly on the road taking fall crops to either elevators or farmer’s bins. Area fields are also showing more and more signs of white bags at the edge in which farmers are storing crops as they come out of the field. No matter where the crops are being stored, harvest is in full production, though the weather forecast shows the possibility of a break for the busy crews.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending November 4 there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork. The report also states that corn harvested across the state is at 65% which is equal to last year, but behind 72 percent for the five-year average. Kent Taylor, General Manager of Ag Valley Cooperative and Kevin Farner, Grain Department Manager at Ag Valley, commented corn harvest in this area is probably around 40 percent complete, while milo is about 80-85% complete compared to 73 percent across the state, ahead of 63 percent last year, but near the 76 percent average. Taylor said, “As of Monday morning, at Ag Valley it appears for all purposes that the soybean harvest is about done. There are a few loads still coming in, but the farmers have made great progress finishing up this crop last week and transitioning to corn.” According to the statistics service, soybeans harvested across the state was 90 percent completed, near 94 percent last year but behind the 96 percent average.

Based on October 1 conditions, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska’s 2018 corn production is forecast at 1.80 billion bushels, up seven percent from last year’s production but down from the September 1 forecast.  There are 9.25 million acres to be harvested for grain, with the yield forecast at 195 bushels per acre, up 14 bushels from last year. Both yield and production are new record highs if realized.

Sorghum for grain is forecast at 15.8 million bushesl, up 32 percent from last year, with 155,000 acres to be harvested, up 15 percent from 2017. Yield is forecast at 102 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels from last year.

Soybean production is forecast at 350 million bushels, up seven percent from last year and u from 338 million bushes forecast September 1. There are 5.65 million acres to be harvested, slightly below 2017, with a forecast of 62 bushels per acre, up 4.5 bushels from last year. Both yield and production are new records if realized.

The recent precipitation has helped area wheat fields and pastures with the statistics services reporting topsoil moisture supplies rated one percent very short, four percent short, 80 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated one percent very short, six percent short, 84 percent adequate and nine percent surplus.

The National Weather Service out of Hastings is forecasting the area to have a 40% of snow Wednesday night (tonight) and a 60% chance of approximately one inch of snow before noon on Thursday.

According to the USGS Water Science School, an inch of snow falling evenly on one acre of ground is equivalent to about 2,715 gallons of water. This figure, however, based upon the “rule-of-thumb” that 10 inches of snow is equal to one inch of water, can vary considerably, depending on whether the snow is heavy and wet or powdery and dry.

Weather forecast following Thursday shows no precipitation for the next 10 days with temperatures ranging in the high 40’s to the low 50’s.

Taylor also commented that some of the weather events in October slowed everyone up, but the last week of the month was a good one across the area. “What we are  hearing from farmers is that yields on all crops have been good, with some great yields on drylands. The one exception may be a few folks not seeing what they expected in milo yeilds, but overall producers are pleased.” said Taylor.

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