Harvest: Harvest has begun for some with soybeans, seed corn, and silage. For all of us as we’re on the roads, please be alert and slow down. It’s also important to talk about safety with teens who drive. With it being so dry, gravel roads are extra dusty, reducing visibility. It can be helpful to turn on headlights and be sure to slow down at intersections. On highways, slow down when coming upon slow-moving equipment. And, be aware of equipment turning. Here’s wishing everyone a safe harvest!
Nebraska Public Power District, Rural Radio, Center for Ag Safety and Health, and Nebraska Extension are teaming up to share on harvest safety with the Harvest Safety Tour. Power line, ATV, and grain bin safety demos will be on display and a free lunch will be served September 9th from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the big parking lot at the York County Fairgrounds. For more information call 877-ASK-NPPD.
Early and mid-group two soybeans rapidly turned last week and may be drier than one realizes in spite of having green stems. Every year it’s a challenge to harvest close to 13% moisture. There’s a dock for delivering wet beans. While not a dock, delivering soybeans below 13% moisture reduces profits because there’s fewer bushels to sell (load weight divided by 60 lbs/bu assuming 13% moisture). Selling soybeans at 8% moisture, you’re losing about 5.43% yield; at 9% moisture, it’s 4.4%; at 10% moisture, 3.3%; at 11% moisture, 2.25%; and at 12% moisture, it’s 1.14% yield loss. That doesn’t take into account additional risk for shatter losses during harvest. The following are two profit examples:
Example 1: Based on the elevator dockage numbers obtained, if the grower was to sell beans at 13.8% moisture, he/she would be docked 3% of the selling price of $8.75/bu, reducing the actual price to $8.49 per bushel. Total income per acre would be: 75 bu/ac yield x $8.49/bu = $636.75 per acre gross
Example 2. If the soybeans were harvested at 9% moisture, there would be 3.3 fewer bushels per acre to sell (4.4% of 75 bu/ac yield due to water loss): 75 bu/ac – 3.3 bu/ac =71.7 bu/ac yield x $8.75 = $627.38 per acre gross
In this example it’s better to take a dockage for selling beans at 13.8% moisture than sell them at 9%. The difference is a positive gain of $9.37 per acre or almost $1265 on a 135 acre field.
Harvesting at 13% moisture is perhaps a combination of art and luck depending on environmental conditions. Some tips to achieve this can include begin harvesting at 14% moisture, making combine adjustments and operating at slower speeds (consider these equipment adjustment tips for your combine), plan variety selection to spread out maturity and harvest (we’re finding around 1 day delay for every 0.1 difference in maturity group), and avoid harvest losses from shatter as only 4-5 beans on the ground can add up to a bushel per acre loss.
Pasture & Forage Minute: With Dr. Bruce Anderson’s retirement (former Extension Forage Specialist), a team of Extension specialists and educators are sharing pasture and forage minutes. These quick updates are also shared via email. If you’re interested in receiving them, you can sign up for the email list by going to this site: https://listserv.unl.edu/signup-anon , enter PASTURE-AND-FORAGE under ‘list name’, and your email.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in Seward in a trap at the Blue Valley Campground in early August. We don’t recommend treatments right now in the fall. Because of the cost, treatments are only recommended for high value and/or already healthy trees. Once EAB has been confirmed within the 15 mile radius of your location, then you can begin the proper treatment applications on healthy trees. A yearly soil drench application is one option for homeowners for trees under a 20” trunk diameter. Tree care professionals are able to use additional products like trunk injections on larger trees. Contact a certified arborist for these treatments. Some products are best applied in the spring, while others can be done throughout the summer. Treatment zone considerations can be found here: https://nfs.unl.edu/documents/EABmap_2020-08-03.png. Please don’t move firewood to help prevent the spread!
Great to see many farm families at Husker Harvest Days last week and also great to see harvest getting started! Just a reminder for all of us to watch for equipment on the roads and allow for extra time to slow down, particularly with the speed limit changes. Dawn, dusk, and the evening can be the hardest times to see equipment and it can be difficult to see how wide or long the equipment extends. Harvest is hard work and a lot of hours yet is also a blessing to finish the growing season. Here’s wishing everyone a safe harvest season!
Harvest: As storm and drought-damaged corn is being harvested, just a reminder that grain should be tested for presence of ear molds and any potential mycotoxins now in addition to moisture/test weight. I’m hearing some differences in what’s all being tested when the harvest sample is taken, so be sure to talk to your insurance agent about this. It’s important to also test for mold and potential mycotoxins as that gives you an indication of what’s in the grain, particularly if any grain is going into the bin. We’d recommend not binning the worst damaged fields/areas of fields, particularly if you have a lot of diplodia in the field. Drying grain to 14% moisture as quickly as possible will stop most fungal growth and we recommend drying to 13% if diplodia is an issue in your corn ears. I’m also consistently hearing about light test weights in the storm damaged grain.
Rapid crop dry down has been a topic of conversation; I’ll share more next week. Briefly, grain moisture loss occurs when husks lose their color, when portions of the ear are exposed above the husk, with looser husks around the ears, when ears turn down, and when there’s fewer and thinner husk leaves. For those asking about dying patches in soybean fields (in which pods are not filling seeds), I’m consistently finding anthracnose in samples but am unsure it’s always been the cause. The concern with rapid dry down in corn is just how quickly these plants are cannibalizing stalks to keep filling ears, the amount of stalk rot in fields, and large ears (watch for potential weakened ear shanks due to various stresses). I test for stalk rot using a pinch test where I pinch the internode between the lower plant nodes for 20 plants and determine a percentage throughout portions of fields. Consider harvesting fields with higher amounts of stalk rot/weakened ear shanks first and also consider harvesting at higher moisture. I’m finding stalk quality quickly deteriorating, even in non-storm damaged fields.
For those with palmer amaranth on field edges, just a reminder that 99% of the seed is still viable going through that combine. Thus, the combine is one of the best ways of spreading palmer throughout your field and from field to field. My recommendation from observing palmer spread the past five years is to avoid combining field edges, strips, or patches where palmer is an issue. Instead, disk down the field edges to bury the seed and then plant an inexpensive small grain like bin-run wheat to reduce early germination next spring. Some have also planted rye. I don’t know if shredding vs. one-time disking is as effective this time of year (since palmer shoots seed heads at the soil line too but unsure if if produces viable seed past mid-September here). As I’ve spoken during pesticide trainings and other meetings, farmers have also shared their experiences. Some farmers shared they took this advice and reduced the problem the successive year and didn’t spread it through their fields (even if they were no-till farmers and had to till the field edges one time). I’ve had other farmers share they combined that field edge or patch and could tell the following year exactly where the combine went for the first few passes within the field as the palmer was a problem there. So, just another consideration as it takes a system’s approach for everything we do including weed management; palmer management begins right now with harvest.
Another management consideration is to harvest soybeans as close to 13% (the elevator standard) as possible. And, I realize this is easier for me to write about than to actually do depending on many factors! Soybeans delivered below or above 13% moisture lose potential profit. At greater than 13% moisture, there is a moisture dock on the scale ticket for delivering wet beans, resulting in a lower price per bushel. And with less than 13% moisture, profit is lost because there are fewer “bushels” to sell rather than a dockage on the ticket. There are fewer bushels because the load weight is divided by 60 pounds per bushel (assuming 13% moisture) rather than by the actual pounds per bushel for the moisture content of the beans at the time of delivery. If you sell soybeans at 8% moisture, you’re losing about 5.43% of your yield; at 9% moisture, it’s 4.4%; at 10% moisture, 3.3%; at 11% moisture, 2.25%; and at 12% moisture, it’s 1.14% yield loss. That doesn’t take into account additional risk for shatter losses during harvest. For a field that’s yielding 75 bu/ac, harvesting it at 9% results in selling 3.3 fewer bushels per acre based on weight because you’re not selling the water that you’re entitled to sell if the beans were at 13% moisture. With soybeans priced at $7/bushel, that’s a loss of about $23 per acre (with greater loss when soybean price increases).