It’s fall harvest time in Monroe County - Republic-Times | News

It’s fall harvest time in Monroe County

By on October 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

Pictured, Scott Nobbe brings in first planting beans from the rolling hills of his mother Margaret Nobbe’s fields adjacent to Route 3 southeast of Waterloo. (Alan Dooley photo)






Farming has been described as gambling without going to a casino, and this year has certainly raised the stakes for many area farmers. 

The results for any given year are important to far more people than just those who work the fields. Agriculture is the economic underpinning for many businesses and its citizenry. 

The Republic-Times reached out to Michael Biethman at Gateway FS for a county-wide overview of the harvest that is now charging ahead earnestly in Monroe County.

Biethman noted harvesting progresses from west to east across the county — from the bottoms to the bluffs and inland. He added that crop yields this year are quite variable, depending heavily on water. Even in the face of flooding in the bottoms, ups and downs in temperatures, and too much to too little rain, he said he is hearing reports of somewhat above average crop yields. 

But much depends on what farmers planted as well as when and where.

Starting with an excellent spring wheat harvest and continuing with the corn harvest, regardless of yields per acre, prices have not been very attractive to many farmers. As a result, much of the harvest of those two grains is being held in storage. 

Soybeans — the third major grain crop across Monroe County — are bringing prices above $9 a bushel, and some farmers are selling that crop to generate cash flow, Biethman indicated.

Soybeans are routinely planted twice. Those planted in the spring are now brown with their leaves gone and their bean pods hanging down. A second planting can follow the spring harvest of winter wheat, and those beans currently vary from completely green to just starting to turn yellow now. They will have to complete the green-to-yellow-to-brown cycle before they can be harvested later this fall.

Monroe County Commissioner Delbert Wittenauer farms both in the bottoms and the uplands…>>>

Read the rest of this story in the October 4 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.