A record-setting corn and soybean harvest for farmers
Published 10:11 am Thursday, October 22, 2015
Record year comes as prices for corn, soybeans at 5-yr. low
A local lifelong farmer is feeling the positive effects of a record-setting soybean and corn harvest.
“It’s been good,” said fourth-generation farmer Richard Stadheim. “We’ve had beautiful weather, and we’ve been having a bountiful harvest.”
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Stadheim, 49, who farms outside Hartland and Albert Lea, attributed the abundant harvest to dry weather throughout the last month. He began combining mid-September and hopes to be finished by early November.
He described 2013 as a tough harvest and 2014 as an average to a little-above-average harvest.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record soybean production in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and record corn production in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s corn production is expected to be 3 percent higher than last year’s.
The USDA also forecasts record yields for corn in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and for soybeans in Minnesota. The forecasts are based on Oct. 1 conditions. The next ones will be released next month.
Stadheim, the president of S&S Farms, said he appreciates the season.
“You get to see all of the good work you did all year,” he said. “You get to see how the good Lord blessed you and the gifts he gave you.”
His family lives outside Albert Lea.
He harvests corn, sweet corn and soybeans. He said both corn and soybeans have been solid for him this year.
Stadheim said a typical day during harvest season begins at 7:30 a.m. and often lasts well into the night.
He has employees who help him during the harvest season, and he is thankful for their contributions.
“It’s huge,” he said. “We couldn’t do this without the guys who are helping us.”
His wife, Sarah, brings lunch and dinner to the workers.
He has two sons and one daughter, Bennett, Garrett and Meghan. All three are interested in remaining in the industry.
Richard Stadheim has goals for harvest.
“I hope our crop is better than the year before, and the decisions we make improve our direction,” he said.
He said he missed a lot of school in October when he was growing up to help his father with the harvest.
Lisa Behnken of the University of Minnesota Extension said soybean yields coming into the regional office in Rochester are exceeding expectations.
“We have seen a lot of solid yields,” she said. “That’s very good when you go across your farms.”
Prices for corn and beans in Minnesota and Wisconsin are the lowest in five years, according to USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service data. It will take time, said Brad Sirianni, farm business production management instructor at Western Technical College, for the effects of price and supply changes to trickle down to consumers.
—The Associated Press contributed to this story.