It was early November 2009, and I was driving through northwest Minnesota. I saw field after field of unharvested soybeans, the still-muddy soil a stark reminder of the frequent, frustrating October rains that had prevented farmers from getting their beans. Producers were trying hard (and without complete success) not to worry. The beans eventually were harvested, but it was a challenging, nerve-wracking time.
Harvests like that one makes this year’s harvest even more satisfying. Though recent showers shut down harvest temporarily, soybean producers across the Upper Midwest have taken full advantage of wonderful weather. Many farmers are done, or nearly so, with their soybeans.
I’m expecting to spend time Wednesday, Oct. 7, with a North Dakota farmer while he combines the last of his soybeans.
Harvest isn’t finished yet, of course, especially for farmers who raise corn, too. It’s too early to declare victory. But harvest is speeding along, and the finish line is nearly in sight. A few more weeks of favorable weather would get us close.
My cover package in the Oct. 19 issue of Agweek will look at harvest progress across the Upper Midwest.