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View From the Cab             09/19 07:30

   Catching Up Before Harvest Craziness Ensues 

   As soybean harvest closes in, View From the Cab farmers Kyle Krier and Genny 
Haun race to get caught up on other tasks. In Kansas, that means putting up the 
latest cutting of alfalfa. In Ohio, it's work on waterways and seeding cover 
crops. 

By Katie Dehlinger
DTN Farm Business Editor

   MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (DTN) -- Soybean harvest is closing in, and that means 
busy times on the farms of Kyle Krier and Genny Haun.

   Krier, who farms in central Kansas, is putting up the latest hay and grass 
cuttings and visiting crop insurance customers when he can. 

   "We're just kind of biding our time right now and getting caught up on 
spraying, getting caught up on hay before the craziness ensues," he said. 

   In western Ohio where Genny Haun farms, wet weather has slowed progress on 
waterway and field-tiling projects but has helped recently flown-on cover 
crops. 

   The two young farmers have been reporting on field conditions and farm life 
this year as part of DTN's View From the Cab series. Here's what's happening in 
their parts of the farming world.

   KYLE KRIER -- CLAFLIN, KANSAS

   Krier finished the fourth cutting of alfalfa on Monday night and is working 
on getting sorghum sudangrass and the second cutting of grass hay put up before 
it possibly rains later this week. 

   He said it's very unusual to get a second grass cutting, let alone a second 
cutting that's larger than the first, but that's the case this year. The wet 
growing season also means they'll get a fifth cutting of alfalfa. 

   "Our cuttings have been very close to the same nearly every cutting. You get 
almost the same tons each cutting, and our quality every cutting goes up. It's 
nice to have that problem," he said. 

   Another nice problem to have is strong demand. Krier says hay is selling 
well, and a lot of it's heading to eastern Kansas and western Missouri, where 
it was really dry this year. That has the added benefit of lessening his area's 
abundant supplies. 

   "We are definitely staring at the barrel of harvest here coming pretty 
quick," he said. 

   He estimates soybean harvest is about a week and a half to two weeks away. 
It's also getting close to time to begin planting wheat, but he said they'll 
wait until at least next week to limit potential problems with Hessian flies 
and because they don't plan on doing any grazing. 

   He expects the wheat crop to get off to a good start this year with good 
moisture in the forecast and a full soil profile. Farmers are also in the midst 
of signing up for crop insurance, and while most farmers are sticking with the 
same coverage levels, a few are buying up. 

   "I think guys are looking at it, at this point in time, as more of a pricing 
opportunity than anything, as opposed to trying to increase coverage more so 
because they think something is going to go wrong," he said. While June Kansas 
City wheat futures prices generally declined in the Aug. 15 to Sept. 14 
discovery period, the $5.74-per-bushel reference price for 2019 crop insurance 
is 87 cents higher than last year and the highest since 2014. 

   Krier said half the farmers he's visited with plan to stick to their 
rotation, while the other half told him they're going to plant wheat "fence row 
to fence row." There just aren't many good alternatives with soybean and 
sorghum prices bearing the brunt of the trade dispute with China. 

   Another large wheat crop could compound storage problems at local elevators. 
Most of them are so full with this year's wheat, they're planning on piling 
corn and milo on the ground. 

   "At this point in time, nobody has begun to go down this road yet, but there 
is definitely talk of the potential where elevators may force you to sell 
across the scale if you want to bring your crops in," he said. 

   GENNY HAUN -- KENTON, OHIO

   In western Ohio, soybean harvest is still a week to 10 days away, but wet 
weather has made it tough to complete other projects. 

   "We continue to struggle with cooperative weather to finish up waterway and 
field-tiling projects," she said. "It's a double-edged sword -- wanting rain to 
finish out crops and start cover crops and wanting a break to dry out enough to 
move dirt!"

   They flew on 1,200 acres of cover crops last week, mostly cereal rye and 
rapeseed. She said some of what was flown on is starting to emerge, but could 
use a little more rain to establish a good stand. The forecast calls for 
temperatures in the mid-80s and lots of sunshine, so it could be a better week 
for moving dirt. 

   Haun said the crew plans to visit Ohio State University's Farm Science 
Review on Wednesday. The three-day show usually attracts more than 140,000 
visitors and 600 exhibitors each year. She said they can't see the whole show 
in one day -- exhibits span 80 acres while demonstrations take place on another 
600 -- so they've prepared a list of vendors they want to visit. 

   "Having managed the company booth for several years with a previous 
employer, I enjoy being able to visit the show without working it," she said. 
"It's a great opportunity to catch up with many contacts I've made over the 
years." 

   When they get back to the farm, it's time for the final countdown to 
harvest. While they've already prepared the machinery and equipment, she said 
there's always something that could come up. Haun said her husband, Matt, will 
also be busy collecting orders for custom applications to be run with their new 
John Deere spreader. 

   Once harvest gets started, they'll try to cut all of their soybeans first. 
She said some of the corn may be ready sooner than some soybean varieties, and 
they're prepared to switch one of their two combines over if they have to, even 
though it's not ideal. 

   Once the crops come off, they plan to drill cover crops on another 2,000 or 
so acres. Then, their attention shifts to next year. Haun said they haven't 
done much marketing on their 2019 crops, breaking with some of their usual 
patterns. 

   "As all farmers are, we are closely watching markets and trends and 
following big issues stateside and across the world to determine our plan of 
action," she said. "We have already begun thinking ahead to next season in 
terms of what seed technology we want to embrace and formulate a plan on what 
soybean varieties and corn hybrids will fit best within our operation."

   Katie Dehlinger can be reached at Katie.dehlinger@dtn.com. 

   You can also follow her on Twitter @KatieD_DTN 


(AG/CZ)

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