It has begun. For me anyway. I started cutting beans yesterday. I was going to post this last night but I was dead tired. So the rack got me first. As the bright rising sun shines into the corner of my eye and Ag Day TV streams on the other screen I’ll claim the start of harvest to the world. Then I need to get going. I still have machinery to move to the field. So I hope you don’t mind a quickie.

I’m cutting over on the west farm. I’ve survived the shakedown cruise. So far all I have done is one round, one very slow round south of the barn to the west waterway and the two acre bottom patch north of the buildings ‘tween the lane and creek. Possibly the wettest beans on the farm. But I wanted a moisture test sample to see if they were dry enough and if the green ones are ready I know the rest will be dry. They tested 13.4% moisture, just under the 13.5% cutoff. Any wetter they won’t take them at most elevators and at Bunge’s crush plant where they will take them up to 15% moisture they will dock the price they pay substantially.

It’s good to be started. Better l;ate than never. This may be the latest start for this area. If not it’s the latest in a long time.


PS. I’ve heard some of the corn yields coming in aren’t that good. Hope that’s not widespread. I’ll let ya (and the trucker) know when I’ve combined enough to load a truck. Later …….


Black Markets

Cocreator’s New Corn is hurting. You wouldn’t know by watching the markets. It’s brown above ground. If I peel away the mushy browning leaf that was the first out of the ground it looks like the whorl is still green going down into the soil. I’m glad I have only sixty acres of April planted corn. That may mean I only have sixty acres left to plant to corn. Well technically replant. But if it dies as soon as you can row it coming up it’s hard to call it a replant. We had two good hard frosts back to back. Everything already emerged has turned brown. Rumors in town are the corn that was put in real early and had from three to five leaves on it has turned black down in the whorl. That’s quite a few acres around this immediate area. What if the first nineteen percent needs replanted? Who would have thought yellow corn was not that bad. We like to see nice green rows by now. Are the markets watching? Push that price back into the black.

I finished up fixing pasture fences here at home yesterday and turned the herd into the strip of grass across the creek. That should tide them over for a few days as the rest rests. I’d say regrow but with the cold maybe that’s too optimistic. I’ll have time to fix the fences up north of I-80. I want to move my young cattle without calves up there to relieve a little pressure on the pastures here at home. The young girls at least. The rest of the bulls will need to go to the sale barn if they are cleaning up nice. They’ve all started to perk up since the grass greened up. I don’t like to sell them unless they look like something I’d like to buy. That goes for most things. That doesn’t guarantee other folks will want to buy them. I still like the red cattle but most herds around here have turned black. Slowly but surely. It’s the in color. Blame Madison Avenue’s Black Angus promotion. We may have the smallest herd in sixty three years but they might be the most black. The markets are watching. Lot of black in that market.

I may get some beans in the ground this next week. As we approach June we should be getting free of frost dangers. Beans that are up freeze right off. Once the soybeans emerge their growing points emerge with them. One good cold snap and they are done. Frostbit. Turned to black. We do have other risks after frost. Lots of them. Maybe the biggest risk is from hail. In 1991 I lost a crop here at home to a hail storm June 1st. Incidentally, the same field that’s now turned brown. I have both all risk and hail on beans so both policies pay me to replant. I can actually make a profit on that operation alone. In 1991 I called in the neighbors 24 foot wide Danish tine field cultivator and turned the whole field black. Well the bottom anyway the hills were turned whatever color that soil was. I happened to be making hay at the same time. What a cluster f@ck that turned out to be. That fall those beans froze off too if I remember right. Turning those leaves black. But I don’t remember getting docked for green beans, a symptom of frost/freeze on soybeans that elevators discount for. More than the markets were watching then. Sometimes it takes a good weather scare to get prices back in the black.

That’s the bi-polar world of the markets though.

See you then, See you there.

I’ll be watching …….