The North Bend Eagle


 

Rains halts harvest, concerns farmers

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 10/16/13

The rain was forecast for Monday, October 14. Seventy percent chance. Then forecasters moved the rain to not start until 1 p.m. Monday.

But when farmers woke up Monday morning the rain had already started. By early morning more that an inch had fallen.

Just what a farmer does and does not want this time of year.

Corn in the rainIt will be a few days before this field near North Bend is dry enough to pick.

“The ground needs the moisture to recharge,” Randy Reznicek said, “but it gives us a lot of concern too.”

Reznicek, 53, said that compaction of the ground is always a concern after a rain as well as the condition of the soil.

“It’s hard to wait,” Reznicek said.

Reznicek farms with his extended family northwest of North Bend. They have finished their soybean crop and Reznicek said maybe they have 25 percent of their corn acres done.

Reznicek said yields have been good for the most part, but vary depending upon the location of the land. Compared to last year’s drought crop, yields have been better.

“Surprisingly, dryland soybeans were 20, 25 bushels per acre better than last year,” Reznicek said. “Corn on dryland appears to be 50 bushels per acre better than last year depending on the farm.”

Kurt Winkelman, 38, farms with his dad, Dan, east of North Bend. He said they finished soybeans last Friday and have at most 10 percent of the corn done.
Winkelman said they had a good year in 2012 in spite of the drought and are seeing the same yields this year.

“It’s going to be sloppy,” Winkelman said. “It’s going to be a mess getting stuff out. Even the last couple of fields have been muddy from the last rain we had.”

Monday was Jeff Hines’ 50th birthday, but rain was not the gift the Morse Bluff farmer wanted. They had believed the forecasters and thought they would be back in the field, at least for a while, Monday morning. They were in the field early Monday morning scrambling around to get the trucks and combine out of the field.

Hines said that the soybeans were done and corn 10-15 percent done.

“Yields have been good, real good, much better than last year,” Hines said.
By Monday evening, more tha two inches of rain had accumulated in the North Bend area.

“There is not a lot you can do,” Reznicek said. “It’s always been this way. Harvest has been earlier than usual the last ten years.”

Reznick said a landlord told him that this year is more like normal and that Randy’s generation is getting more accustomed to the early harvest.

With the possibility of more rain later this week, farmers are faced with some hard decisions– whether to go into fields and risk messing with ground conditions, or push the calendar back and hope good weather will last until harvest can be finished.

 

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