Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Another To-Do Done: Corn Harvest 2016 Report

I like "to do" lists. Sometimes, I'll even add something to my "to do" list after it's done ... just for the satisfaction of crossing it off. (Forgive me my Type A obsessive behavior.)

In reality, I didn't have corn harvest on my "to do" list. I'm a cog in the wheel, but I'm not the orchestrator of all things harvest. Still, I like to think it was more easily crossed off my farmer's mental list with my parts runs and meal deliveries and my help moving from one field to the other. Since those "drop everything" times probably impacted my ability to tick off items on my own list, I guess I should have scribbled them in after the fact - just to make myself feel better.

We're all glad to move corn harvest from "to do" to "done."
This year, we had only 185 acres planted to corn, down from 243 in 2015. (In comparison, we had 1,559 acres planted to wheat this year. As I've said before: We are wheat farmers.) We began corn harvest on September 3 and finished on September 12.
For 2016, our overall average was 71 bushels per acre. It ranged from a low of 61 bu/acre to a high of 97 bu/acre.
This was our fourth corn crop, so it's a relatively new addition to the County Line rotation. So how did Corn Harvest 2016 stack up? Our first year of corn production was 2013. We had an average yield of 57 bushels per acre, with a low of 18 and a high of 78. In 2014, we had our best year to date. Our average was 108 bushels per acre, with a low of 82 and a high of 145. Overall yield average for 2015 was 43.88 bushels per acre. So, all things considered, 2016 was a relatively good year.
Randy was a bit disappointed by the yield, considering our wetter-than-normal summer. However, we had some weed pressure from herbicide-resistant weeds. Also, some corn was drowned out with rains. (Not enough rain ... too much rain ... rain at the wrong time: Farmers have a reputation for never being happy with the weather. It's probably deserved!)
But, since we are a totally dryland farming operation, we are dependent upon Mother Nature's rains and her heat index during critical times like pollination.
We raised enough to fill the corn contract we had with the Kanza Co-op, so that was a relief. Now, if we could just do something about commodity prices, we could look forward to wheat planting later this month with a little more confidence.
April 23, 2016
Our 2016 corn crop was the crop that almost wasn't. A dry spring had Randy considering not planting any corn. But some timely rain changed his mind, and we started planting corn in April. Compared to a wheat crop, corn provides a short time from planting to harvest.
So, all in all, it is good to have the 2016 Corn Harvest in the books ... and crossed off the list!


  1. Seems like a good result. I just love the last pic with the corn flowing into the truck.

    1. It could have been better; it could have been worse. So we will be happy with what we got.

  2. WOW congratulations after the season we all just had good for you. Yippee. Hug B

    1. Thanks, B! We still have some other fall crops to harvest, but they aren't ready yet.