It's too early to make local harvest predictions

2011-10-09T00:00:00Z 2013-09-11T12:38:08Z It's too early to make local harvest predictionsBy Melanie Csepiga Times Correspondent
October 09, 2011 12:00 am  • 

With blue skies overhead, Tom Wietbrock and his family worked together Wednesday to bring in some of their corn crop.

On Thursday, they were harvesting soybeans in sun-kissed fields. The harvest is a family affair, with Wietbrock joined by his son, Cory, and his brother, Randy, as well as their cousin, Jim, all Wietbrocks who farm south Lake County ground.

"The corn was planted late, so it's a late harvest," Wietbrock said.

Recent rains kept the moisture content up, which will add to drying expenses, he said, unless warm, sunny days prevail in the coming week.

"The nice weather this week is a godsend," said Walt Sell, director of the Purdue Extension Service in Lake County. "Some farmers in wetter areas are still a few days away from getting harvest started."

Brad Metzger, general manager of Co–Alliance, the grain elevator in Malden in Porter County, estimated 20 percent of that county's beans have already been harvested and 60 to 70 percent should be out of the fields by Tuesday. "The beautiful weather got guys rolling," he said.

"The beans are doing really well. ... They need the August rains," Metzger added. "The corn looks good in this area. ... Malden's the garden spot," he said.

Further south, farmers are reporting less than average crops, though.

Commodities fell hard recently, knocking grain prices down from their early spike this season.

Right now,Tom Wietbrock said, "The price of corn is $2 less (per bushel)."

Sell said it's a tough call if this season will bring a good harvest since "yields are all over the board," a sentiment Randy Wietbrock echoed.

"We've got corn and beans that went through two big wind storms and were hit hard by hail," Randy Wietbrock said.

Tom Wietbrock said it's too early to make any real predictions.

"At best, it'll be an average harvest. At best," he said.


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