Lee Steinhauer, Minnesota farmer, provides insight on soybean harvest on his family’s farm in southern Minnesota.

While 2021 was a difficult, droughty growing season in the upper Midwest, producers are wrapping up another successful soybean harvest. No matter what sort of obstacles come their way, producers take precautions to produce high-quality soybeans that are free of weed seed and foreign material.

To ensure that we are growing soybeans in fields clean with few to no weeds, we create and follow strict weed management plans throughout the entire growing season. At harvest, we adjust settings on our combines, sometimes differently for each field, to ensure the machines are working properly and not damaging the soybeans. These efforts help northern U.S. farmers consistently produce soybeans with very low levels of foreign material. According to the 2020 United States Soybean Quality Annual Report, the percentage of foreign material in soybeans sampled at the farm level is 0.2% in Minnesota and South Dakota and 0.3% in North Dakota.

The soybeans harvested on our farm are delivered to a nearby elevator and later exported from ports in the Pacific Northwest to customers around the world. Other soybeans grown in our area are delivered to soybean processing plants to be crushed into soybean meal for livestock feed or made into biodiesel. Soybeans can be stored in grain bins to maintain quality. Our cold climate makes for ideal storage conditions, ensuring that soybeans reach our customer at proper moisture levels with no spoilage or damage. No matter how soybeans will be utilized, growers take great care to produce clean, high-quality soybeans.

Soybean harvest on our farm is complete, and we will finish our busiest season by harvesting our corn. Even during the cold, snowy winter, farmers are always thinking about the next growing season. They’re evaluating which seed varieties grew best on their farm and are creating plans to produce the best quality crops next year.

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