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Midwest Harvest Report: In the northern Great Lakes region, it all depends on where you farm

Harvesting in the northern Great Lakes region

This week’s guest blogger, Kevin Knapp, says harvest progress and yields are all over in his territory, depending on where on the map you’re located. Knapp is the Case IH combine product specialist serving northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northwest Ohio, nearly all of Wisconsin and Michigan.  Prior to becoming the area’s combine specialist, Knapp spent six years as a combine test engineer for Case IH, travelling the world to test Case IH Axial-Flow combine technology in just about every imaginable crop and condition.  Knapp grew up on a farm in Henry, Ill., and has been intrigued by combines for as long as he can remember. (“My mom could tell you stories,” he says.)   

In my area of northern Illinois soybeans are all but done, and corn is more than 75 percent done.  Most guys are getting very close.  Typically, on our home farm in Henry we’d be done by Halloween, and we’ve got about a week to go.  But corn is going straight into the bin, so that’s saving farmers money, and letting them finish up quicker.

It’s about the same in northern Indiana. They’re a little behind, but nearly finished with beans, and  they have a little more corn to go.

Usually, Wisconsin is further behind, but this year they’re slightly ahead of schedule.  Beans are wrapping up, and corn is going fast.

For the most part, Michigan’s in the same boat.  Michigan also has a lot of dry edible beans, and they’re pretty much done.  There’s a little bit of soybeans left.  Corn across the state is half done, more so in the west than the east. Everybody’s going hard.

Ohio’s been wet again.  They had a wet spring, and they’re facing it again this fall.  Farmers had just gotten into the fields last week.  They are just starting beans in the northwest corner of the state, and it’s the same for corn – maybe 25 percent done.

Yields are all over the board.  In the northern part of Illinois, there’s a lot of 60-plus bushel beans. Several guys have commented that these are the best beans they’ve ever grown.  Corn yields are ranging anywhere from 120- to 220-bushels per acre. There was a lot of stress during pollination and a lot of wind damage.  The corn that was down during pollination didn’t put kernels on the ears, and yields there are exceptionally low.  But in good spots, corn yields are the best ever.

Outside of Ohio in areas that have been dry, the beans were very dry in the pod. There was a lot of potential for soybean shatter.  The Case IH 2162 flex draper was an awesome tool for handling dry beans. Customers using the 2162 were definitely seeing more beans in the tank and less on the ground.

When guys were first starting corn, it was higher moisture corn. We’ve been able to adapt machines to go from higher moisture to lower moisture and maintain the same grain quality and savings. That’s a hallmark of Axial-Flow combine technology.

I’ve tested combines in Australia, Brazil, Canada and all over the United States.  And I can tell you that crop adaptability is outstanding with red combines. We can take the same machine and harvest in multiple countries in innumerable crops and conditions and make it work. That’s flexibility.

I just read Corwyn’s Be Ready blog post about doing an on-farm demo and not having to make any adjustments.  The same thing’s been happening to me. I’ve done several demos recently where we didn’t make any machine changes. We used the book settings and headed into the field.  We were getting terrific samples with nothing left on the ground.

Just last week I visited a farm in Michigan with eight combines. We did on-farm training with the operators to make sure they’re getting the most out of the machines to be as profitable as possible.  Case IH has been doing this kind of training for 10 years.

We’re committed to working one-on-one with our customers to help them get the most out of their equipment and technology. The global population just hit the 7-billion mark this week.  That’s a lot of grain to harvest.

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  • Rick Brummel11.26.2011 Reply

    I have a 2008 8010 1900 hrs. best combine ever. Looking to upgrade to a low hour 2011 [hard to find ] or take a chance on Tier 4 2012. Can,t find much info on the2012. I have talked to your dad at meetings in the past and may give him a call. If you could give me some insight on these machines Iwould greatly appreciate it. I should decide this year yet. Hate to change but should. Thanks for any advice you can give.

    • CASE IH11.28.2011

      Hi Rick – you can see some preliminary information about our new Tier 4 combines at http://www.caseih.com/efficientpower. I’ve also passed your name along to our Combine marketing team to follow up with you directly. Good luck!

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