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How’s the harvest?

Yields, prices looking good, but costs continue to climb

Photo by Fritz Busch While pulls out to pass, a combine travels east of Sleepy Eye on County Road 27 Wednesday morning.

BROWN COUNTY — With cooperating weather, the fall harvest continues to move along, with farm implements often seen on local highways.

“The year was dry but yields are pretty good. I’ve heard some high 50s for beans. Corn is getting ready to harvest really quick,” said Wayne Schoper, a farm business management instructor for South Central College in Mankato.

“Good, dry weather without rain will help the harvest go quickly,” Schoper added. “There’s a lot of harvesting, tillage, fertilizer and manure application going on in the next six to eight weeks.”

Schoper said crop growers should earn more than $100 an acre more than they did last year. The trouble is, there always seems to be a flip side. This year, along with commodity prices, land rent, seed and fertilizer costs are also rising.

“We got a late planting start this spring. It’s usually the last week of April,” said Schoper. “It was so cold this spring, some planting didn’t start until mid-May. We’re going to harvest corn soon. Prices are strong, well above the cost of production. It’s hard to tell what the future will be.”

Schoper urged motorists to be cautious when driving around farm machinery.

“We don’t want anyone injured. We have to be cautious, keep our heads up,” he added. “The crop is made. Now let’s get it safely out of the field.”

The value of Minnesota corn exports have more than doubled since 2005. Corn is used in more than 4,000 consumer products, including batteries, crayons, makeup, carpet and tennis shoes, according to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

In addition, 96% of Minnesota’s farms are family owned. Minnesota corn production in 2021 included 8.4 million acres planted and 7.84 million acres harvested. The average yield was 178 bushels an acre.

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