Fall harvest is winding down in Kansas. For the most part, the weather has been good, with light rains about once a week until the last week of October, when I had 5 inches.
I have 23ha of corn left to harvest and I am done with soya beans. I was very happy with the soya. Even after a very difficult growing season they yielded 30-50 bushels/acre (2-3.4t/ha), an average would be 20 on the poor dirt and 40 on the good ground.
And with a price $12/t up, this soya harvest was the highest grossing I have ever had. I do not store any soya beans on farm; all are delivered to our local elevator. I forward sell about half a normal year’s yield and the rest are sold spot at harvest.
I had planned to put in some wheat after my soya but my desire to grow wheat faded with every bushel of soya I combined.
So this will be the third year in a row no wheat is planted on my farm which a big change since the 1980s when I planted half my arable land to wheat.
With the spread between the price of soya and corn being about $8/t (£5), it is likely I will plant most of my acres to soya beans in 2014.
I will probably remember the 2013 harvest season for several things that happened unrelated to farming. Our normally peaceful county was shaken by a double murder in early October, followed by a two-week manhunt that culminated in the killer being shot dead by police.
Several days later I drove the combine past a dead man in a neighbour’s yard, who appeared to be taking an after-lunch nap.
I had combined about 15 minutes when my fire pager sounded calling for us to bring a defibrillator, I was first on the scene, but he was cold and had no pulse, well beyond saving.
Then Halloween night our county had another murder – three in four weeks makes a pretty high murder rate.
Brian Hind farms 1,250ha of prairie land in Greenwood county, Kansas, America, of which 770ha is family owned plus the rest is rented. Of this, 330ha is arable cropping with maize, soya, grain sorghum, alfalfa plus a mix of rye, triticale and turnips for grazing by 200 beef cattle. Grassland is used to produce hay