It is time for farmers to start cashing in on their hard work over the summer as harvest season is in full swing.
At this point last year, a lot of farmers cut their corn early and turned it into silage for livestock. While this year has not been ideal to the fields of KELOLAND, the return in eastern South Dakota is expected to be much greater.
Farmers and combines are much happier this season as they work in the fields. Last year, there was a terrible drought that hurt the final product and the bottom line. While Mother Nature wasn't perfect this spring and summer, former South Dakota Ag secretary Walt Bones thinks most farmers will be happy.
"I think after what was probably less than ideal growing conditions as far as the weather, rains were kind of spotty but they were somewhat timely. So we got some big rains in the spring after we got planted. We got some rains here late summer. We're going to end up with above average yields in this part of the country," Bones said.
Bones is part of a fifth generation farm that has been harvesting the same land since 1879. His family plans on harvesting corn for the next week to ten days. There is some expected one to three inches of rain coming in the next couple days and while they might slow down their combines, their soil needs the water.
"We'll use the moisture. They're talking a good chance of rain coming up here maybe Monday, Tuesday and we'll take it. Our ground, our sub-soil moisture is really dry still left over from last year," Bones said.
Bones estimates their crops are three times better than last year and he believes eastern KELOLAND farmers can consider 2013 a success.
"There was places that were too wet, too dry again. And there is always the hail and all the things that happen, but all in all, this going to be a much better crop than it was last year," Bones said.
Better crops do mean smaller prices, as this year's corn prices are just a little over half the price they were last year, but with farmers having more to sell, they should easily make up the difference.