Harvest update with Mike McCranie

October 11, 2023

Mike McCranie was on the threshold of harvest when reached for an interview, on October 2nd. The northeastern South Dakota farmer had seen neighbors’ combines in the field and he himself was preparing for his annual autumn fieldwork.

“Our machines are ready; the combines have been gone through. There’s always some last-minute things that we try to do,” said McCranie. “We’re looking forward to we think an average, hopefully above average crop. Our corn looks really good in this area. It’s kind of hit-and-miss, wherever the showers hit will be the best corn. And of course, where we have missed those showers will probably be on the lean side, but all in all, I think we’re very, very optimistic.”

There were wide variations in winter, spring and summer weather in South Dakota resulting in a late spring where McCranie is at Claremont, South Dakota.

“We had snow on the ground in May,” he recalled. “In fact, when we started planting corn, we were going around drifts that were still not melted from the shelter belts. We had to come back when it finally melted and finish planting those areas.”

Another recollection of McCranie is how brief the time was between the end of winter and the disappearance of snow until there were concerns about adequate precipitation.

“I think we had like 15 minutes of spring and then it turned hot,” he said, adding, “It’s amazing how good those crops look. We picked up some timely rains. I know there’re a lot of areas in the state that didn’t get what we had up here, so I guess we’re very, very fortunate.”

McCranie, a member of the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff Board, is the fourth generation to farm the land he’s on. His wife Monica grew up in town, but after she was married, she bought a farm that had been in her family. To hear it from Mike McCranie, he considers himself wise to accept occasional marketing advice from Monica.

“She has her own machinery, she does everything that I do on the farm right down to marketing. Make a note that she is a better marketer than I am,” McCranie explained. “She runs tractors, she runs combines, she does everything but run a semi, she does not like driving semis.”

There is more conversation with Mike McCranie about his involvement in the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. That will be on an episode of The Soybean Pod, available from whichever platform podcasts are streamed and downloaded and at SDSoybean.org.