Farmer Focus: Poor weather delays end of soya harvest

The fall harvest in Kansas is drawing to a close. In my area, crops were very good, especially soya beans.

My yields have run in the 45-55 bushels/acre (3-3.7t/ha) range. I would happily take that every year.

A long run of misty, foggy days has made most of the days in November bad for combining, otherwise harvest would be over.

On 11 November I attended a retirement farm auction near Topeka Kansas, with the intention to buy a seed tender. The machinery, like the farm, was immaculate, resulting in some strong prices.

See also: Read more from our Arable Farmer Focus writers

For example, a 2010 8270R John Deere tractor with 1,257 hours on the clock fetched $134,000 (£102,242) and a 1997 JD 7710 with 2,834 hours sold for $56,500 (£43,109).

A 2010 Case IH 5088 combine with 600 separator hours and 4WD sold for $140,000 (£106,820), the 2020 flex head (20ft) made $12,000 (£9,156) and the 3406 six-row cornhead went for $14000 (£10,682). This all stayed as one unit.

A 25ft 2016 Case IH turbo till made $27,000 (£20,601) and a 720 IH six bottom plough sold for $3,800 (£2,899). A 1993 JD 750 15ft no-till drill went for $21,000 (£16,023).

However, I did successfully acquire a 110 bushel Friesen seed tender for $5,000 (£3,815).

Mark of respect

It was also Veterans Day. The national anthem was played before the auction, which I thought was a very appropriate gesture.

On 12 November the American Legion post in my town of Madison had a chicken noodle feed to raise money for a veteran’s memorial to be placed on the island in front of the fire barn.

Apparently, after the First World War a captured German cannon was placed on the island as a memorial, but in 1942 it was melted down as part of a scrap drive, with the blessing of the veterans.

I hope it is never forgotten there was a time not so long ago when Brits and Americans, along with a host of other nations, all were on the same side in an epic struggle against evil.

To all veterans who read Farmers Weekly, I want to say thanks for your service. The freedoms we have today on both sides of the Atlantic were paid for by you.

Brian Hind farms 1,250ha of prairie land, of which 960ha is family-owned and the rest rented. Of this, 330ha is arable cropping with maize, soya, grain sorghum, alfalfa plus a mix of rye, triticale and turnips for grazing his herd of 400 beef cattle. Grassland is used to produce hay.

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