Farmers are nearing soybean harvest

South Dakota farms, at least those in Chad Schooley’s neighborhood around Castlewood, South Dakota, have received anywhere from just a few inches of summer rain to 20 inches. Schooley lost some corn to wind a few weeks ago, “not a lot, probably two to three percent,” he said. The Hamlin County farmer’s soybeans look relatively good, saved by late season rain.

“Our [maturity] group 1.5 to 2s are going to be good,” said Schooley, about his soybean crop. “We have some .9 to 1.0s that we’ll probably start harvesting here in the next week that I think we’re going to see a little yield drag on because they were early and didn’t get the benefit of later rains,” he said, “but overall, I think we’re going to have a good crop.”

It is often heard that the soybean crop is made during the month of August, during which rain this year saved a lot of bushels in South Dakota. But for Schooley, a director on the South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) Board, rain came in the nick of time, or maybe just past it.

“The rains didn’t come until the last week in August and the first week in September,” he said. “It was borderline, the early beans did not benefit from the rains, but our later beans I think we will see that benefit; we were dry [in] early August and late July.”

Within about a week of soybean harvest, Schooley was confident of what he would find once the combine was in the field. “Yield wise, I think we’re going to be in the 40s [bushels per acre] on our early beans, but I think we’re going to get up in the 50s; there’ll probably be some 60-bushel beans on some of the good ground,” said Schooley. “On my farm, I’m hoping to be in the 50-bushel, front to back. If I could average that, I would be very, very satisfied.”

In his first term as a SDSA director, Schooley is pleased so far to have a say in the governance of the soybean growers’ membership arm. “South Dakota Soybean is trying to do their part, we’ve had some tours, we’ve had some shop talks this summer trying to keep everybody involved and letting everybody know what South Dakota Soybean and [the] American Soybean [Association is doing]. The [ASA] president right now happens to be from South Dakota, Kevin Scott, so we’re blessed to have him on our team, and he keeps us in the loop of what’s going on worldwide,” said Schooley. “Yeah, we’re in a pretty good position as far as our association goes.”