Knee high … slowly but surely

A YEAR CAN MAKE QUITE A DIFFERENCE, as Seth Swan has realized this year, and these two photos are proof. The one on the left shows Swan with his daughters Emma (left) and Avery (right), standing in nearly chest-high corn last July. The photo on the right, taken last Wednesday, shows Swan holding Ruby, a new addition to the family, standing between his two older girls among corn that barely reaches Swan’s ankles. Left photo, submitted / right photo by Per Peterson

A late planting season has raised concerns about the 2019 harvest, as corn is nowhere near where it was a year ago at this time, but all is not lost

By Per Peterson

Seth Swan is seeing things his father has never seen. Or his grandfather, for that matter.

Swan, a 2007 Tracy Area High School graduate, farms corn, soybeans and alfalfa on his 2,000 acres and also raises beef cattle at T & S Farms southwest of Garvin.

“This is a Century Farm and my grandpa’s never seen this before,” Swan said of the wet conditions in the area. “Not to this extreme. They’ve seen ‘too wet,’ ‘dry,’ … but it’s been too wet ever since we got the flood. We got 16 inches of rain in eight days the first week of July.”

Swan describes last year’s crop as “mediocre.” His tiled fields did well, but anything that wasn’t tiled didn’t fare so well. This year, he’s hoping for 150-bushel corn and guesses maybe 40 bushels for beans. His farm’s corn yield history over the last 10 years is 207 bushels. This year, he’s hoping for 150 bushels.

“That’s 50 bushels times $4 — that’s $200 an acre times 300 acres of corn just on this farm,” he said. “If it’s not hot and dry this summer, it might be a long fall. It’s either laugh or cry. We need it hot and humid, and if you can get a half inch of rain here and there, boy that corn will really take off, same for the beans.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.