Local farmers report successful bean harvest - Republic-Times | News

Local farmers report successful bean harvest

By on October 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Brian Edler pilots a John Deere combine through a bean field adjacent to Route 3 between Sportsman Road and T Road south of Waterloo last week. (Alan Dooley photo)

For the Republic-Times

The fall soybean harvest is well under way across the region, with farmers racing cold fronts to get their beans to storage or the market before it rains.

For the most part, soybean yields and grain quality have not been severely affected by nasty summer drought conditions seen in June and July.

“Late season rain can make or break soybean yields,” Gateway FS agronomist Jerry Roosevelt said.

In fact, some farmers are reporting as good or better average soybean yields this year as opposed to last.

Brian Edler of Valmeyer, who with his father Don farms about 900 acres, reports that as poor as the corn harvest was, soybeans that were planted in the spring are performing extremely well.

“I’m getting about 50 bushels an acre here,” he told the Republic-Times. “That’s about the same number of bushels we got from corn this year, where we saw a very poor yield after the heat and drought.”

Other area farmers are reporting an average of 45 to 65 bushels per acre for soybeans, depending on soil type and location. Last year’s crop brought yields in the low 40 to 50 bushels per acre range.

Fellow farmer Terry Liefer of rural Red Bud reports yields this year in the low 50s to middle 60s, with good quality in terms of size and appearance.

“Most of our beans were a longer maturing variety, but we were able to start last week,” Liefer said. “The late rains certainly helped them.”

And the frost came late enough this year, so Liefer doesn’t expect very many soybean crops to have been affected.

“You will notice a few green-colored fields that have a slight frost burn on them, but it was minor,” he said.

As for soybean prices, they have been bouncing back and forth and are currently about $2 to $3 per bushel off the high, hovering around the $15 range.

“Market wise, we have fallen from our highs. I think we are about done, but the crop is getting bigger as far as finding higher yields than expected,” explained Gateway FS grain merchandiser Dan Martinek. “But China is still lingering, buying cargos all the time. Last week we loaded 26 boats — not necessarily all to China — but it was a big week for shipments from New Orleans.”

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.