Heat units and dry weather have come together to create a nearly perfect harvest scenario - whether you're talking the good-yielding stuff where the drought missed, or hard-hit areas where desert-like conditions turned corn to tall brown grass - combines are rolling. Last weekend I was traveling with my wife, Bobbi, to catch up with some friends to enjoy some fall weather wine-tasting and came across this field for A and G Bauer Farms, where harvest was in full swing.
The weather was right, the sun was shining and the equipment was rolling. And this irrigated corn was making 250-bushels per acre near Hastings, Minn. Frankly, I think a good time was being had by all.
I had stopped to pick up what we call "b-roll" video for my work on "This Week in Agribusiness" where we like to have scenes of equipment at work as part of the stories we tell. Our friends Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson offer a lot of great information on that show (aired on RFD-TV and many cable networks each weekend).
As combines were rolling around the countryside near my home, there's a sense that this season is finally over and we can look forward to a new year. Of course, we're looking forward with a significant need for moisture. And that will remain top of mind through this winter where we are actually hoping for some more snow versus last year's "tropical winter" in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Harvest is your paycheck, that once-a -year event that sews up a season of hard work and for the cash grain farmer it's that annual payment that makes it all worthwhile. While many of you reading this will be looking for insurance checks to help too, getting combines in and out of the field is still a good feeling. Of course, watching a yield monitor register numbers that range from 0 to 200 bushels per acre can't be fun.
Be safe, enjoy whatever bounty the land has provided and let's start planning for 2013.
Keep up on the drought by checking out DatelineDrought.com where you'll find a daily video update and a host of stories and information that can help you start getting ready for the next season.
By the way, if you have a great story from this year's harvest, or a past harvest, you may want to enter it in the My Harvest Story contest. Got a great photo, cool video or an essay/poem you'd like to share? It could win you valuable prizes - like a Gator or a Weber grill. Learn more at FarmProgress.com/MyHarvestStory. The contest is sponsored by Mycogen seeds.