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Farmers harvesting corn rare in spring

By Staff | May 9, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT The combine at Dave Wolfe’s farm, about five miles southeast of Orrin, was utilized May 3 because a rare excess of moisture last fall forced area farmers to hold off harvesting until this spring.

Pat Wolfe has farmed for about 60 years and says hopping into a combine to harvest corn during the spring is rare – twice in his lifetime rare.

Wolfe kept a big John Deere combine steady on May 3 as he helped harvest corn on his son Dave’s land about five miles southeast of Orrin. The elder Wolfe still farms near his hometown of Esmond and recalls having to combine in the spring only one other time – about five years ago.

Dave Wolfe had about 110 acres of corn yet to harvest after getting to about 80 acres before winter.

“The seed was extremely wet and weather conditions didn’t allow us to get in there,” Pat Wolfe said. “The corn was so wet, it wasn’t financially smart to combine it then.”

Pat Wolfe said optimal moisture for harvesting corn is 14.5 percent, but moisture was over 20 percent last fall.

“It seldom happens, but it was an unusual year last year where things just didn’t happen to ripen up,” he added.

A long winter dropped the moisture back down to about 13.5 percent, allowing the Wolfes to get back at it during recent weeks. The rain has been appreciated too.

“The moisture situation looks pretty decent this year,” Pat Wolfe said. “These rains have helped restore the moisture.”

When the corn harvest is done, reseeding and rotation of crops will begin. The cornfields the family is working on now will likely be seeded with soybeans.

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