Regional harvest reports – Andy Carlson, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations
As harvest season wraps up here in the Midwest, check to see how your area has been doing.

Central Minnesota, November 20, 2017
By Andy Carlson, Vita Plus dairy specialist
As of November 20, the majority of central Minnesota is winding down on harvest with most of the soybeans and corn silage completed and corn grain now as the main focus.  This has been a long corn silage season, with harvest starting right after Labor Day and extending into mid-November for some areas.  Cold weather helped firm up some ground with excess moisture.  Yields have generally been good, although not quite as high as last year’s yields.  Corn silage quality looks good with moderate starch levels and good fiber digestibility.  Corn straw bales have been difficult to make this year with wet ground and snow.  We are encouraging people to get bedding needs covered if they are not able to get enough dry corn stalk bales made.  2017 has been challenging agronomically, and most folks are looking forward to turning the page and moving on to 2018.

Southwest Wisconsin, November 10, 2017
By Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist
Here in southwest Wisconsin, we just experienced our coldest night this fall with a forecasted low of 9 degrees F – a new record low for this date.

With corn silage season wrapped up, some early reports indicate starch levels are good in the samples and it is feeding well.  The grain harvest for this year was a little slow getting started due to the late maturing crops; it was also interrupted with some wet weather.

Currently, the soybean harvest is approximately 95-percent complete.  Yields are between 30 to 75 bushels per acre, which is about 10 to 20 percent lower than last year, overall.  The corn grain harvest is approximately 65 percent complete.  Corn yields should be similar to last year, which is a little surprising because we did not get the optimum rain fall late in the growing season.  Yields on corn grain range from 175 to 225 bushels per acre, with some areas higher than that.  We are currently testing corn grain for vomitoxin and are happy to report we have not found any this fall yet.

As always, we want to stress the need for safety at these busy times of the year on the roads and in the fields.  We look forward to a great end to the 2017 harvest.

Eastern Wisconsin, November 13, 2017
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Mid-November has brought a few early frosty days, but corn and soybean harvest has continued so far.  Corn silage wrapped up with mostly larger-than-expected yields after being planted later than normal and in a cooler-than-normal summer.  This should allow forage inventories to be plentiful to get through until next summer.  Manure pumpers are still working at full speed to finish emptying manure pits, but, with mostly favorable weather, should finish up before we get to a hard freeze.  It is always interesting to see a few soybean fields standing in mid-November, but, for the most part, the crop is harvested with average to slightly better-than-average yields.  A similar story is developing on the eastern Wisconsin corn crop.  We have not seen many challenges finding storage as the later planting didn’t set up the region for a record year.  However, more grain is still coming out of the field than most were expecting.  Even with the earlier weather challenges, feed inventory should be bountiful as we reach Thanksgiving.

Western Michigan, November 20, 2017
By Mark Case, Vita Plus dairy specialist
This year has been a year of extremes.  A wet spring led to a dry summer.  The dry summer led to a wet fall.  Corn silage harvest went well, even though some farmers had to wrap up early because corn plants were too dry to make silage in the right moisture range.  I have plenty of 2017 corn silage samples coming back from the lab in the upper 30s to low 40s in dry matter (DM).  Corn silage yields might have been slightly lower than last year, mostly due to a dry summer.  Farmers in my area also struggled to find corn suitable for high moisture corn and snaplage because corn dried down too fast.  Almost all soybeans are harvested, and corn harvest is almost done.  Corn yields in Michigan were up 10 bushels per acre this year to an average of 167 bushels per acre, which is reported as a record yield.  Soybeans yields were around 45 bushels per acre, down 5.5 bushels per acre compared to last year.  With all the rain we have had lately, it will be a challenge for most farmers to get some fall tillage work done before winter.  But, all-in-all, we have lots to be thankful for with another crop year in the books.

Category: Feed quality and nutrition
Forage Foundations
Forage harvesting