Some Farmers Cut Silage the Earliest Since 2012

Cutting Silage 083120

Areas of the Corn Belt are experiencing “cooler” temperatures this week. Pro Farmer reporting temperatures have moderated across the Corn Belt and are expected to be mild the next 10 days to two weeks.

However, heat and lack of rain are showing up in USDA’s Crop Progress report. The corn condition rating for the top producing states dropped another two points to 62%. The amount of crop rated “poor” to “very poor” increased two points to 14%.

The soybean crop rating for the top producing states dropped another three points to 66% for the “good” to “excellent” category, which was in line with traders’ expectations. The portion of the crop rated “poor” to “very poor” increased two points to 10%.

Some areas received a shot of rain early in the week too. However, it’s been so dry in some places that farmers are cutting silage the earliest they have since the drought of 2012.

It’s not unusual for Adam Kleiss over in Fredericksburg, Iowa to cut silage.

“What we’re finding out this year [is] the fields we are in right now, we probably should have been in them Monday [August 24],” says Kleiss.

What’s different this year is this is the earliest he’s cut since 2012. We interviewed him Wednesday, August 26 about it.

“It was drier that year than it is this year,” says Kleiss. “It’s definitely dry though. It’s not wet.”

Kleiss has been cutting around his area in Northeast Iowa. He says this about the quality he sees from the silage cutter.

“The good spots are really, really good,” says Kleiss. “The poor spots are just average.”

Steve Renli over in Lincoln County, South Dakota is already done chopping silage. He chopped two to three weeks early. We interviewed him Thursday, August 27.

“[This is] definitely the earliest I’ve cut since 2012 and it wasn’t any too early to be out there,” says Renli. “This crop really moved along the last three weeks in this heat.”

The two are not alone. Farmers from Missouri to Minnesota said last week via Twitter that they’re cutting silage earlier than normal too.

The U.S. Drought Monitor mirrors dry conditions with those dry areas expanding in most Corn Belt States. Extreme drought is expanding out West from the week prior too.  

“It’s been brutal,” says Renli. “[It’s been] the warmest it’s been during a stretch for a long time.”

Renli says farmers in his area received anywhere from two-tenths to a half inch of rain Sunday night.

“What’s helping as much as anything is the heat is broken,” says Renli. “I think we had nine or ten days in a row up in the 90 [degrees for temperatures].”

There are possibilities for more rain in forecast this week. Farmers hope they will receive some to help the rest of their crops finish better.