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Harvest gets off to slow start

Row crop producers in southeast South Dakota may be in for a long fall.

A wet spring made for a long planting season for many producers in the Tea and Lennox areas. Now a wet September and a wet start to October has led to a slow start for harvesting soybeans and corn.

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, soybeans in South Dakota are rated 62 percent good to excellent and 35 percent poor to fair. Harvested soybean acres was at 39 percent as of Oct. 3. Corn condition was reported 54 percent good to excellent and 43 percent poor to fair. Harvested corn acres is behind the 20 percent average at 12 percent.

Luke Hartman, Farmers Co-op Society Worthing elevator manager, said harvest has been a little slow. Some of that could be because the area has seen 14 inches of rain since Labor Day.

At the elevator, they are taking in new crop beans and corn. Many of the soybeans coming in are wetter than the last five years, but nothing the elevator can’t handle.

“We’ve been taking both corn and beans. The beans haven’t all been mature enough. Guys are bouncing around from field to field, so they’ve been going to corn,” Hartman said.

Tea area farmer Tyler Urban said that has been true for them. They started on soybeans Sept. 26 and they were between 11 and 14 percent moisture. Then they switched and took a field of corn. On Oct. 10 they were switching back to beans.

“We started combining beans about Sept. 26. We usually are able to get into the field at the end of September. We got rained out for a week and switched over to corn and going back to beans,” Urban said.

South Dakota State University Extension agronomy field specialist Sara Berg, who is based in Sioux Falls, said producers should not worry too much yet.

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