Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the farm. It celebrates the hard work and long hours, blood, sweat, tears. We celebrate the finish line with the harvest celebration. We are thankful for the continued demand for the ingredients we produce on our farm for your farm.
This year, we celebrated with 33 family members and friends, “Harvest is Almost Finished Party.” One of the highlights during our family dinner, we enjoyed two pastured raised Turkeys grown in Florida at Pastured Life Farm. Ginger and Dave, thank you for working with our driver, Travis, to meet him with the turkeys. The turkeys were delicious! Quick update: Corn harvest is finished, Soybean harvest is 75% completed, Canola and Barley are planted, Wheat will be finished the last week of November.
Our Non-GMO Corn Harvest season lasted 71 days. The combine rolled into the field on September 10th and the last truck load was unloaded into storage on November 19th. It was a long, fruitful harvest. By God’s grace, we have above average yields and bushel weight, with excellent quality.
The farm’s Non-GMO Corn usually is above average (56 lbs./bushel) on bushel weight. This year we averaged 60 lbs./bushel. The higher the weight, the higher the quality. At the end of the 2-month, 10-day harvest, we finished with 163,247 bushels of Non-GMO Corn. With an average of 50% corn in the ration, that is enough corn to feed 1.4 million finished broilers.
Grain Sorghum/Milo was first harvested in the middle of our corn and soybean harvest, September 27th and finished October 10th. Milo is a great risk management crop for our farm. The crop requires less water and uses less fertilizer than the Non-GMO corn. However, per acre, it will yield less on an average to excellent growing year when compared to Non-GMO Corn. This year, we have harvested around 14,000 bushels. If we value the milo at 50% of a broilers diet, we have enough milo in storage to feed 350,000 corn and soy free broilers.
Non-GMO High Oleic Soybean harvest kicked in on September 14th and is still rolling along. We are 75% completed with harvest. Even though the weather has been perfect for harvest, we have experienced delays with equipment failure due to green stalks and weeds. The soybeans are ready for harvest, but the lack of a “killing frost” kept the summer weeds vibrant. Luckily, we had a few days of below average temperatures in October, our combine was able to speed up.
Just as corn, our soybeans are yielding above average with excellent quality. Looking at the year to date, our farm’s Non-GMO High Oleic Soybean has produced 70,865 bushels. In which, through our Expeller Press Oil Mill will yield soybean meal to feed 1 million finished broilers at a 25% soybean meal inclusion rate in the diet. We anticipate the remaining harvest will feed an additional 400,000 broilers.
Even though the weather has been excellent for harvest, no precipitation, it has been horrible for our winter crops that have been drilled behind our corn and soybeans. Historically, October is our driest month of the year with an average of 3.9 inches of rain. During this September and October combined, we received 1 inch of rain. Luckily, we received a 1/10th inch the last week of October and then received another 1.5 inches the week before thanksgiving. The Canola, Barley, Oats, and Wheat seed surprisingly hung out in the ground and waiting on the moisture to germinate. We now are praying the cold weather moves in and out quickly the last week of November.