With snow in the forecast, farmers with soybeans still on the field are racing to finish harvest.
As a whole, soybean harvest is on pace with an average year in South Dakota according to the latest USDA crop progress report. But that’s not true everywhere. Bowdle farmer Richard Beitelspacher fears winter will come early this year even though his harvest is late.
"We're roughly a month later. We're soon to the first of November basically. And generally them beans are pretty much done in early October or late September," Beitelspacher said.
That's the crop worrying him the most. It sits low so even a little snow on the ground would prevent it from being combined.
Beitelspacher figures he has about half his soybeans harvested at this point. He couldn’t get much accomplished earlier this fall because of weather he faced during harvest. Other farmers in his area have faced the same dilemma.
"We had quite a bit of rain and slow rain and that whole plant was absolutely saturated and they're just to the point where we got them dry enough," Beitelspacher said.
Up against the clock and unknown weather, Beitelspacher plans to hire help, and some other farmers are hiring additional help as well. Some are just finishing soybean harvest thanks to additional manpower and machinery.
Even though Beitelspacher isn't there yet, he has this going for him. Anticipating a late harvest after this year's late spring, he planted fewer soybeans than he was originally planning. Still, he'll be a little nervous until the work is done.
"We'll go every day we possibly can until we're done with our total crop," Beitelspacher said.
Some parts of the state received so much rain recently, farmers have wet patches in their fields and need to wait for the ground to freeze before they can go back and harvest.