ROSCOE (WJON News) - Despite a record-setting dry summer, farmers are mostly happy as harvest continues.

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Dean Kunstleben farms near Roscoe in Western Stearns County. He moved into his soybean crop Tuesday and has been pleasantly surprised by the yields so far.

I'm really surprised that the beans did handle the drought. We did have some timely rains - might only have been two-tenths or three-tenths at a time - but I guess that was more than enough for them.

Kunstleben estimates his early soybeans are running about 50 bushels per acre, and his corn silage harvested earlier came in between 22 and 26 tons per acre. Both are average crops for Central Minnesota. He says modern genetics combined with subsoil moisture kept the crops on target all summer long. Modern genetics have developed seed varieties that are much stronger than the seed varieties used 20 to 30 years ago.

Obviously, genetics has really, really improved over the years. Because if this would have been (the 1988) crop, you know, varieties (would have) never handled what we went through this year.

Soybean harvest has just started at the Dean Kunstleben farm near Roscoe. Photo: Jeff McMahon - WJON
Soybean harvest has just started at the Dean Kunstleben farm near Roscoe. Photo: Jeff McMahon - WJON
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Even with the hot, dry summer, Kunstleben [KUNZ-lay-ben] says the soybean crop matured on schedule and harvest is right on time.

I'm on schedule with soybeans, maybe even a little bit behind, but that's because we had some, not very good favorable weather the last 10 days for soybean harvest.

Forecasts are calling for inches of rain over the weekend, and that should help recharge the subsoil moisture so next year’s crop can get off to a good start, even though it will delay harvest slightly.

We need some moisture. It would be nice to wait two weeks for us to finish up on our crops and get our tillage because I think it would soak in a lot better.

A combine wraps up harvesting a field of soybeans. Photo - Jeff McMahon - WJON
A combine wraps up harvesting a field of soybeans. Photo - Jeff McMahon - WJON
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The USDA reports that 58 percent of the soybeans in the state have been harvested, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 52 percent.

The field corn crop is 13 percent harvested, slightly behind an average 17 percent average completion rate for this time of year.

 

 

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