Many farmers finish harvest in record time

Published 11:20 am Thursday, November 1, 2012

Few crops remaining in Minnesota fields

Doug Sheely of Brownsdale remembers finishing his harvest by Halloween last year. As of Wednesday night, he had already been finished with this year’s harvest by more than a week. Farmers around most of Minnesota are following that trend, too.

“That is for me the earliest I’ve ever been done,” Sheely said. “It’s unusual for us to be done by Halloween.”

According to the final Minnesota crop report of the season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday farmers nearly wrapped up the harvest last week and well ahead of the five-year average. As of Sunday, corn was 98 percent harvested, compared with 89 percent last year and 58 percent for the five-year average.

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Many farmers, including Sheely, have finished their tillage and are nearly done applying fertilizers, as well. Sheely said because everybody has finished harvesting so early this year, farmers are waiting for fertilizer to become available.

“We’re just doing so much in a short time,” Sheely said.

A few farms farther north, in Dodge and Steele counties, had record crops and still remain unharvested.

Despite rain and snow during the week, Minnesota’s harvest of corn, sunflowers and sugar beets was nearing completion, according to the USDA. Sunflowers were 99 percent harvested, compared with 85 percent last year and a 61 percent average. Sugar beets were 93 percent harvested, compared with 99 percent last year and a 92 percent average.

Rain and snow boosted moisture supplies statewide. Many reporting stations in southeastern Minnesota reported more than an inch of rain last week. Still, Sheely said, those with beans still standing are even waiting for a little more moisture before picking.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.