Farmers harvesting soybeans late after delayed spring planting

Capitol Bureau

RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNT) – 70 percent of the state’s soybeans have been harvested this year, but there are still farmers working out in fields.

“It’s been a real struggle,” said Nathan Larson, a soybean farmer in Riley County. “It was wet. It was hard to get stuff planted.

Larson grows about 500 to 600 acres of soybeans. Both this year and 2018 have been late harvests for farmers.

He started cutting his last field of beans on Tuesday and says the quality of his crops have varied.

“Some places where the ground was a little muddy, I had some trouble getting the beans to come up,” Larson said. “So there’s just some thin spots in the field, overall the beans are generally pretty good this year.”

Near the end of October, 57 percent of soybeans were rated either in good or excellent condition.

The late planting delayed the normal harvest times, and that had farmers ready to get in their fields as soon as they could.

“Harvest didn’t start until late September, and for the first two or three weeks it was behind the normal pace,” said Doug Bounds, the Kansas state statistician for the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Then we had some good weather, sunshine, warm in some spots and by late October soybean harvest had picked up its pace,” he said.

It’s projected that there will be 4.54 million acres of soybeans harvested in the state, down about three percent from last year. But industry experts say it could have been much worse.

“This year’s been a lot better than some of the other states,” Bounds said. “If you look at the eastern Corn Belt, those guys got rain all year and they’ve just had trouble the whole growing season.”

The amount of soybeans is down in the state, but the average bushels per acre is currently equal to last year’s number at 43.

The weather isn’t the only thing that has affected farmers. The trade war is impacting Kansas crops. Old soybeans that are in storage are up 154 percent from this time last year.

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