This regular feature provides an update of crop growing conditions from several farmers, along with happenings across the farm to ensure overall quality of their product.

Soybean harvest is ramping up in the Upper Midwest. 

While some growers are in the midst of harvest responsibilities, others are just days away from taking that first pass through the field. 

While South Dakota farmer Mike McCranie hasn’t begun combining, there are some in the state who are in the initial days of harvest.  

“I did inquire with some that have tried the beans and most of them were surprised that their yields were as good as they are,” said McCranie, who serves as Northern Soy Marketing’s (NSM) vice chair.  

Just because the McCranie’s aren’t in the field quite yet, doesn’t mean that they aren’t busy. Harvest preparation is in full swing. 

“We’re going through equipment,” McCranie said. “There are still a few oil changes left to make on some trucks. We also have a little bit of corn left that was contracted so we are trying to fill that contract before we really start the grueling task of harvesting soybeans.” 

Like many farmers across the Upper Midwest, South Dakota has had a significant lack of moisture this growing season. Last week, McCranie received an inch and a half of rain, but it was too little, too late for this year’s crop. 

“We needed it for next year,” McCranie said. “It’ll do absolutely no good for this year, but looking ahead to next year we will take what we can get.” 

When they begin harvest, McCranie has every intention of storing their bean crop over the winter months, which is an advantage for northern soybean growers. 

“So, where we have an advantage in our northern climates, especially if you store your beans, is that our winters are cold,” McCranie said. “Those soybeans will actually go to the export terminals at a lower temperature which enables them to travel to their final destination at a lower temperature than southern climates, such as Brazil, which starts at a very, very high temperature right from the field and they stay hot all the time.” 

In North Dakota, Rob Rose is also mere days away from soybean harvest. This year, with the opening of the Green Bison Soybean Processing plant, Rose plans to sell part of his soybean crop to the plant since it’s only 25 miles from his farm. 

“My plan is to store for winter delivery to Green Bison,” Rose said. “I probably won’t sell at harvest because I don’t know if they’re quite up and running but I think they have dumped at least one truck.” 

Pretty soon, the leaves will fall off the trees and winter will grace the Upper Midwest. But there’s a lot of work to be done before then, and through it all, Upper Midwest soybean growers remain committed to growing and harvesting quality soybeans.