A farmer in the Randolph area says as a whole, yields on his fields have been below average this harvest.
Jason Rempel of Rempelco Acres says they grew wheat, barley, canola, soybeans and corn this year. Rempel says like everybody else they had a late start to seeding this spring. And, with all of their crops taking a lot longer to get established, Rempel says they are probably about a month behind with harvest, noting they only combined their barley in early September.
According to Rempel, yields have been all over the map. He notes they had some sections of their fields drown as the result of too much moisture. Where their crops did not drown, Rempel says they saw average yields and even above average in some locations. However, he says when you take the whole field or entire farm into consideration, their yields this year are below average.
Rempel says right now it appears as though their best crop this year could be spring wheat. He notes those particular fields did not experience the same moisture pressure and seemed to have fared better in some of those heavy rains.
On the flip side, Rempel says though it remains to be seen, it would appear right now as though corn will be their poorest crop this year.
"That would be maybe the furthest below what our expectations are," he suggests. "We didn't get it in as early as we would have liked and there's a lot of variability when I go and check on those ears in the rows."
Rempel notes other farmers who were able to get the corn seed in the ground a few weeks earlier, definitely had the advantage of having a longer growing season.
Rempel says their corn fields were bit by frost in late September. He notes it was not extreme, but temperatures hovered around -2 degrees for a short period on back-to-back nights. The result can be seen on the corn ears that have now dried up. However, Rempel says their corn was physiologically mature enough that the frost should not have too much of an impact on yields.
Meanwhile, now that harvest has stretched into October, Rempel says there are fewer and fewer available hours each day to pull crops off their fields.
"When we get these overcast days and very, very high humidity nights, it takes a long time for the crop to lose the dew for us to be able to get back on," he explains.
Rempel says by this time of year it can take until mid to late afternoon before the fields are dry enough to harvest. He adds farmers do not want to put that extra moisture from their crops into the bins, for fear of dealing with spoilage later on.
Looking ahead, Rempel says their soybeans are looking good and he is hopeful they can get onto those fields next week. Then, he says the earliest they will begin the corn harvest is probably the third week of October, with everything wrapped up potentially before November.
He notes overall, harvest is yielding better than he was expecting in June. Rempel says even though it was hot and humid this summer, most of their crops managed to escape any disease pressure. He adds the overall quality of their crops is good.