All Aboard Harvest | Wet weather part of the harvest trail
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Wet weather part of the harvest trail

Wet weather part of the harvest trail

By Dave Bergmeier

Wet weather has delayed the corn harvest for Craig Huxtable, but past experience has taught him to be prepared for any fall harvest scenario.

Huxtable is also a Hoegemeyer seed salesman and cow-calf operator near Wood River, Nebraska. He plants 1,350 acres of “corn on corn” practice and most of his crop is on irrigated cropland.

“On the dryland we had good yields,” Huxtable said, adding that was on high quality river bottom ground near the Platte River. “On our irrigated fields with the Hoegemeyer seed the yields are better than expected.”

He projected his irrigated yields would be about 240 to 250 bushels per acre, which is above the 10-year actual production history. His corn harvest is about half picked. A recent 4-inch snow delayed harvest. Like many farmers, he also picks the best corn first.

Weather played a part in the crop’s development in July when high winds hit at the time the crop was at its tassel stage, which was a concern for him and other growers. The plant kept its roots established and while it may have affected potential yields, Huxtable said it could have been worse.

“All things considered we are happy with what we have,” he said.

Input costs quickly rose this spring and summer, he said. And he expects that to continue next year for fertilizers and herbicides.

“I have not locked in any inputs yet,” he said about 2022. “I’m loyal to the businesses that have provided me inputs and services over the years.”

That strategy has served him well and he expects that relationship will continue to pay dividends.

One consideration for next year is he may look to grow more soybeans. He has undertaken some soil samples so if he wants to add more soybeans to his spring-planted mix he can get a leg up. While he has not delved too much into it, he wants to be prepared in case there are problems in procuring fertilizer. He also might look at growing some sorghum as he is confident in the Hoegemeyer portfolio.

One overriding reason he believes it is important for him to stay with corn is that he uses the cornstalks for the cattle to graze.

The past two years have presented him and other growers many challenges and opportunities. For him, Hoegemeyer products are proven, as an example, and neighbors vouch for the performance, too. The hybrids are part of the Corteva Agriscience portfolio and he likes the fact that they are American owned.

Huxtable says maintaining diversity in the operation and staying informed so he can educate himself is the best way to have long-term success.

“If we had a crystal ball, we’d all know what to do,” Huxtable said. “We all know that every year has its own unique challenges.”

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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