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South Dakota corn harvest stalls after early snow

After weeks of uninterrupted harvest, snow forced many South Dakota farmers out of the field. Eastern South Dakota farmer Drew Peterson finished soybean harvest despite being without some essential help.

“My father actually came down with COVID-19 right when we were getting on soybeans, so he was laid up for about three weeks,” Peterson told Brownfield Ag News. “We all just went maybe a little bit harder, longer hours individually than we normally would to keep things rolling, but he’s on the upswing now and feeling good and he’s in the combine right now.”

With 550 acres of corn left, the Petersons’ harvest is stalled, waiting for the early snow and mud to disappear. Because of too little rain after mid-July, soybean yields were less than in prior years.

“Most of our yields were 40 to 50 bushels an acre on fields that would usually be 55 to 70,” said Peterson. “We did have a few fields that were in the mid-to-upper-fifties, and we did a few fields that were 39 bushel too.”

Even with the lower yield, Peterson, a board member of the South Dakota Soybean Association, is happy that soybean export demand has picked up.

“It certainly helps selling beans at $9.50 to $10.00,” he said, “instead of $8.00 like we were looking at not too long ago, or even lower than that.”

AUDIO: Drew Peterson

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