WENTWORTH, S.D. (KELO)– You don’t see too many combines out in the field anymore across South Dakota.
Many farmers across South Dakota have already finished their corn harvests this year, ahead of the normal schedule. This is due to dry conditions and the hot weather we experienced into the fall months.
The equipment is in the shed, the corn is in the bins and the fall field work is all complete for Wentworth farmer Dave Ellens.
“Field work, fall work we usually go sometimes into Thanksgiving, you know and so right now I would say pretty much all the work around here as far as harvest, field work, has been done for about a week now, so I would say we are about three weeks,” said Ellens.
Early harvest seems to be a common trend across South Dakota this year as hot, dry conditions and prevent plant effected a majority of producers.
“It means they were dry, unfortunately and that yields were just likely not what they should have been. It’s not great news, it looks on paper theoretically like it’s great news, but those numbers are way ahead because of the drought areas,” said DaNita Murray, executive director of South Dakota Corn.
“Yeah, it was down from average, I would say in this area we were probably about 20 bushel, 20, 30, bushel less than our average production,” said Ellens.
Those yields and early harvest are being reflected in the corn market across the Midwest.
“The markets have already responded to some of the numbers that they have seen coming out of some of these big corn producing states,” said Murray.
However, getting the crops harvested already did give farmers some extra time to get more work done.
“One thing that guys were also ready to do was get some work done in the fields that they haven’t done in years past. There was some tiling done that they weren’t able to do,” said Ellens. “You know, they were able to work some ground that maybe hasn’t been farmed in a few years.”
Remaining optimistic about the next growing season.
“You know, it’s part of farming. Every year is different, but the good thing is every year you get another chance at it. So, I think guys are just going to play the hand they are dealt, try to change things they need for you know the conditions we were given and look forward to a good year next year,” said Ellens.
According to the latest progress report from the United States Department of Agriculture, corn harvest was 91% complete, compared to 80% the same time last year. That puts us well ahead of the 5 year average of being 66% complete at this date.