Hi, I'm Amanda! My family farms corn and soybeans in Southwest Michigan. I'm also a practicing attorney.
Harvest is in full swing over here — and so is fall! As if we needed a reminder of the colder weather coming, most mornings we’ve been greeted by frost. Thankfully, it is late enough in the season that this won’t affect any of our crops or yields. Of course, earlier frosts can definitely hurt our crops, including soybeans.
But you definitely can’t beat the view from the combine!!
We have been switching between picking corn and picking soybeans. It really depends on which fields are ready and which crops needed to be dried in the grain bins. Dad has been getting up and leaving the house by 6:30am — even before the lawyer! — and hauling to the granary.
The view from the combine
In the field, we’ve been dumping the full combine into the grain cart (pictured above is one of our smaller trucks, not the grain cart). Then the grain cart unloads into the semi-trailer. The semi either gets dumped in the grain bins for drying or it makes the trip down to the granary.
According to the Harvest map, the average yield for soybeans is 52 bushels per acre. For corn, it is around 155 bushels per acre. We’ll just say that not all of ours has been that good… the weather really didn’t cooperate this August. We needed more rain and a bit more heat.
So far we’ve harvested about 250 acres, with about left to go 600.
I See Something Green
The good news: we’re done planting corn. We planted roughly 870 acres now.
(The bad news: the guys have to plant soybeans now. But we aren’t following that on the blog this year.)
But there’s more good news: the corn is up!
Obviously it isn’t very big yet, perhaps about an inch, but thanks to some perfectly timed rain, we’re off to a good start. However, the temperature here turned pretty cold (I think we had a high of 48 degrees this today?). This can be really bad because we planted a lot of corn over the last two days. Without appropriate sun and heat, those seeds could literally just rot in the soil. However, it’s still exciting considering just a week ago it looked like this:
This year, as I mentioned before, we opted to till our fields. We’ve been doing no-till for quite a few years, and the ground really just needed to be worked up. If you’re wondering, no-till is when you plant the crops right into the field without working up the ground. It saves money since you’re not running tractors, and it helps eliminate erosion. But the ground gets compacted since you’re constantly running large equipment over it and not working it up. It also means you have a lot of old plant material in the field, but this actually can act to keep the soil warmer. It’s a give and take.
For now, we’ll start planting soybeans. As soon as we get some weeds popping up, which you might see from the last picture, we’ll have to go in and spray. The weeds are competing with the corn for nutrients in the ground, so it’s important to get the weeds out of there so the little corn can really start growing.
As many of you know, I'm passionate about the mission of Cultivate Food Rescue. Last year, because of the collaboration of volunteers and donors, Cultivate was able to fill 55,527 backpacks with weekend meals for school kids, and provide 1,623,018 meals to others in our communities. In doing so, it rescued thousands and thousands of pounds of perishable food. On this Giving Tuesday, please consider donating to Cultivate's mission.No neighbor hungry. No food wasted. ... See MoreSee Less
Donate No Neighbor Hungry, No Food Wasted Donate Now Transform Lives Through the Gift of Giving Your contribution, whether big or small, has the power to uplift communities, catalyze progress, and cre...