October 22, 2014

Fall harvest is in full swing

In a field just a couple miles south of Fairfax Tom Runck empties his combine hopper before making another round in his corn field. Conditions were ideal on October 20 with the sun shining, a slight breeze and temperatures in the upper 60s. (Staff photo by Kjersti Bastian)

By Amy Berg, Staff Writer

Driving down the highway or any gravel road, it’s easy to see that it’s harvest season in farmland.

According to an October 10 report by the University of Minnesota Extension, the corn harvest is two and a half weeks behind the average and it is the slowest progress since 2009.

As of October 10, only seven percent of the Minnesota corn crop has been harvested.

The local grain elevators include South Central Grain and Energy (SCGE) with locations in Fairfax and Gibbon, and Harvest Land Cooperative with a location in Morgan.

According to Fairfax Grain Operations Manager Tanar Haala at SCGE, the corn harvest has been relatively steady.

“The weather looks good and we’re optimistic,” Haala said.

Haala reported that this year for SCGE farmers, the corn yield has varied between 140 and 220 bushels per acre. The test weight is in the mid 50’s. Test weight is measured in pounds per bushel.

Harvest Land Cooperative’s Kurt Soupir, who works in Commodities, reported the test weights he had heard were right around 54 and 55 pounds per bushel.

SCGE reported the closing market price of corn on October 16 as $3.11.

According to Harvest Land Cooperative’s Cash Bid Chart, corn in Morgan is at $3.06 as of October 20.

Due to the dry conditions, area farmers have been able to let their corn sit in the fields longer, which will hopefully bring them higher test weights and lower drying expenses.

Per a University of Minnesota Crop E-news article, it is recommended that if farmers are leaving their corn in the fields to dry, they should keep an eye on the strength of the corn stalks and shanks.

In regards to corn silage the University of Minnesota report states that, “eighty-seven percent of the corn for silage has been harvested, two weeks behind average.”

Soybeans are a different story. From October 3 to October 10, about forty percent of Minnesota’s soybean acres were harvested. Soybean harvest is reported to be approximately four days behind average.

The report indicated that sixty-six percent of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition.

As for SCGE, Haala reported that their patrons are wrapping up the soybean harvest. The average yield was approximately 47 bushels per acre.

The number was similar in Morgan, with Soupir, reporting the average bushels per acre of soybeans between the upper 40’s and the lower 50’s.

SCGE reported the closing market price of soybeans on October 16 as $9.11.

Harvest Land Cooperative’s listing of soybeans was $8.84 at the Morgan location as of October 20.

With corn harvest going steady, keep an eye out for tractors and other farm implements on the road and drive safe.

October 15, 2014

Fairfax Mayor getting ready

to hand over the reins

By Amy Berg, Staff Writer

Fairfax residents only have a few more months to call Doug Pomplun “Mr. Mayor.” With his second term wrapping up, Mayor Doug Pomplun will not seek re-election.

“After four years, it’s time for somebody else to take over,” Pomplun said. “It’s good to get other ideas in there.”

Pomplun has enjoyed his time as mayor, but thinks if one person stays in the position for too long, it isn’t beneficial for a city.

Pomplun was first elected to the mayoral position in 2010 and took office on January 1, 2011. He was re-elected in 2012. Pomplun ran unopposed in both elections.

Pomplun discussed the status of Fairfax and is not worried about what the future holds. He noted the city is in a fairly stable position, which is a result of being financially sound and on good footing. One area Pomplun would like to see a continuation of growth in is the business field.

“It’s always beneficial if we could bring more businesses to town. Fairfax has a lot to offer,” Pomplun said. “It’s just tough to bring more jobs.”

During his time as mayor, Pomplun has seen and been involved with projects and improvements done in the city. Among these projects were the new City Hall and Library buildings. Pomplun expressed how proud he is when he thinks of all the hard work and planning that went into these buildings. He cited these new additions to the city as some of the highlights of his four years serving as mayor.

For complete story see print edition

Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic –

preserving stories of days gone by

By Denise Bonsack, Publisher

If you read Howard Sherpe’s column last week, you may remember his comment about the cemeteries being full of stories that will never be told. 

Well, the Sibley County Historical Society is working hard to make sure that some of those stories are captured and documented before it’s too late.

Over the past three years, members of the group have been working hard to gather information for their latest project, a book called ‘Country Schools of Sibley County’. They conducted interviews with former students and teachers, and have done hours and hours of research to find all the details they can on the schools that once dotted the Sibley County landscape. 

The idea for the book originated with Harriet Traxler, who has since passed away. Traxler, a local photographer, had written several books herself, including one that featured the Barns of Sibley County, so she was a big help in getting the project headed down the right path.

From there, “It just kind of evolved,” said SCHS President Jerome Petersen. “Nobody thought it was going to be the elephant in the room. There’s such a variety of stuff here – these interviews we’ve conducted, and photographs and documents. The book is going to be fabulous.”

That was one of their biggest challenges. With the vast amount of information they collected and received, they had to find a way to include it in the book and format it so that it would appeal to readers. And since they couldn’t include everything they received, they had to decide what to include and what to leave out.

For complete story see print edition