Lenore harvesters reap corn on Dec. 31

Lenore farmers took their 2019 corn crop off within the calendar year – a good way to finish the year.

“Five months of harvest” are behind them says Jason Hodson of Rosebank Farms. He and brother Jonothan finished their corn crop and kept going into their brother’s crop.

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By Dec. 31, a bright and beautiful afternoon with temperatures in the single digits (below freeing), the combine was reaping corn for Jamie and Lindsey Hodson -  J & L Seeds Hodson Family.

Cattle producers often grow corn for silage or corn grazing, but J & L has another market. “This corn is going to be hauled to the ethanol plant at Minnedosa,” Jamie explains.

The lack of snow has been a help to winter harvesters, meaning they can move easily on the land, but the warmish weather hasn’t been ideal for some other reasons.

Jason Hodson said their corn was coming off with a high moisture content. They started to harvest corn in November when it was registering about 26 per cent. As cold weather deepens, the corn is expected to freeze-dry. With a warm December, that hadn’t happened. 

He said, “This year it hasn’t budged. It isn’t drying down as it typically does.”

Jamie says winter corn harvest is not unusual.

“[There’s] lots of corn left out around Manitoba this winter. Corn may dry down some… through the winter months. Many producers are looking at harvesting their corn in the new year now, into March,” says the seed grower.

Corn harvested in March will be a little cheaper to dry.

“We’re drying it anyway,” he says, adding that it’s nice to have the job over with.


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