Bean harvest should beat weather system

Authored by Jim Langham on Oct 29, 2012

With the unpredictable harbinger of one of the worst storms in weather history threatening the eastern third of the nation for the first half of this week, southern Adams County farmers worked feverishly over the weekend to complete the harvest of this year’s bean crop.
The encroaching storm, said weather specialist Rick McCoy, will remain totally unpredictable for at least the next 24 hours.
“While it appears that the brunt of this unprecedented storm will stay just to the east of us, it would not be unreasonable for us to see some wet snow flakes to mix in with blowing rain Monday night and Tuesday,” said McCoy. “The National Weather Service is thinking now that there could be sustained winds of 35 miles per hour and gusts of 50 miles per hour or better, even in this area, especially during the day on Tuesday.”
McCoy said that it is eerie when he hears specialist from the National Weather Service referring to the overall storm as, “the worst we’ve ever witnessed,” on a widespread basis.
In the meantime, Lehman said on Sunday that that he thinks that nearly all the bean crop would be harvested by later today.
“Farmers have had the chance to get at these soybeans for the past couple of days. If they still get today (Monday), I think that most of them will be completed by this evening,” said Lehman. “It’s been kind of tough getting some of them in with the rain we’ve had and the wet ground. No-till ground seems to be doing the best.
“Well over 90 percent of the beans are in. We had a good run on Saturday,” said Lehman. “The yields are phenomenal, some of the best that we’ve ever had. The timing of the rains we had in late summer, once it started raining again, was just perfect to set the pods,” added Lehman.
Lehman said that while there are some occasional reports of higher yields, consistent yields have been in the upper 50 to low 60 bushes per acre category.
“It’s just an excellent crop,” said Lehman. “When they couldn’t take beans, farmers have taken off some corn.”
The corn harvest, Lehman said, has varied according to geography, in comparison to rainfall, soil types and other lay of the ground.
He noted that some areas produced between 70 and 100 bushels per acre while other locations saw upwards from 140 to 150 bushels per care.
Results in surrounding areas have been similar. Jerry Powell, who farms in Mercer County near the tiny community of Wabash, several miles southeast of Chattanooga, said that farmers in his area were overwhelmed by the success of the beans, and even the way some of the corn turned out.
“God sure has been good to us, not only in yield but in prices. In spite of the kind of summer we’ve had, he sure has taken care of us,” Powell said.
“These are the best prices we’ve ever had at harvest,” said Lehman.
Lehman noted that corn is averaging $8 a bushel and beans around the Berne area are currently selling at $15.50 per bushel.
“We’ve never seen anything like this, considering the drought we had in the first part of the summer,” said Lehman. “There’s no doubt about it; God has answered prayer. He has really been good to our farmers this year.”
Concerning weather over the next couple of days, McCoy advises residents to stay closely advised by local forecasts.
“With a storm of this magnitude, things can change quickly,” said McCoy, who said that some accumulating snow is predicted across most of the southern three-fourths of Ohio. “It bears watching until it has completely moved out of the area.”

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