High yields during fall harvest, good prices improve mood of Baldiwn City area farmers
Andrew Coates pulled up to the scales shortly before noon Monday at Baldwin Feed Co. with the last truckload of soybeans of Wintermantel Farm’s fall harvest.
“We still have about 500 acres of corn,” said Coates, an employee of the farm. “Everything is looking good. A lot better than last year.”
Baldwin Feed owner Steve Wilson said most area farmers were feeling good as the fall harvest started to wind down. Wilson said he has heard that local farmers were averaging about 40 bushels per acre for soybeans and more than 100 bushels per acre for corn, although he added he had no way to confirm those numbers.
Douglas County Extension director Bill Wood said that was in line with his estimates. He has heard reports of from 20 to 59 bushels per acre on soybeans and estimated the average to be just more than 40 bushels per acre. The corn harvest has produced as low as 61 bushels per acre and exceeded 150. His estimated average was slightly better than 100 bushels per acre.
That compares with Douglas County’s average for the previous eight years of 31 bushels per acre for soybeans and 99 for corn, Wood said. That’s good enough to improve the moods of farmers, especially after last year’s fall harvest was wiped out from the summer drought.
“It’s a lot more fun to drive a combine when you’re getting something,” Wood said.
Helping put smiles on the faces of soybean producers is the price the crop is fetching, which Wood said was good because of demand caused by the drought. The price bid for truck-delivered grain Monday in Kansas City was $4.12 to $4.14 for a bushel of corn and $13.02 for a bushel of soybeans.
But Wilson said all the beans coming to his elevator were being shipped and sold to the new DeLong Co. Inc. facility in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Intermodal in Edgerton, which was paying from 10 to 20 cents more than other buyers.
DeLong was buying beans to ship to China, Wilson said. There, the versatile soybean, which can be used for a number of human, animal and industrial uses, would be used for human food products. Therefore, DeLong was paying more for quality, he said.
“It’s definitely added value to local farmers,” Wilson said.
It also allows Baldwin Feed to keep more of its 200,000 storage capacity for the corn crop, Wilson said.
Wood estimated 90 percent of the county’s soybeans have been harvested and 85 to 90 percent of the corn.
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