If you blinked this fall, you may not have seen any harvesting being done.

It seemed like almost overnight fields went from standing crops to stubble. 

“We can drive on the fields and get the crop,” Karl Funk said Oct. 6 as he watched the final harvest of soybeans from a field owned by Bruce and Jan Funk south of New Munich. “It’s better than last year.”

Funk was not referring only to yields. Dry weather when crops were ready helped. The harvest this year is also ahead of schedule, because, for the most part, this was a great year for growing crops.

“It got a little dry in the spring,” Funk said. “Then the rains came.”

Timely rains, and the timing of temperatures, combined for a good, steady crop throughout almost all fields. There were a few “bad” spots in fields, however. 

“The yields were consistent over a whole field,” Funk said. “With the nice spring, the low spots germinated nicely. The last two years we had wet springs, and low spots don’t have the push.”

Karl Funk, along with his brothers, Greg and Jeff, and parents John and Dorothy own Funk’s Midway Dairy.  

“We run 2,000 acres,” Karl Funk said. “Currently we have 1,600 acres harvested.”

Greg Kulzer agreed about the harvest. 

“The harvest has been going real good,” said Kulzer, who farms 160 acres south of Greenwald. “The yields are good and the field conditions are way better than last year.”

Kulzer’s corn fields averaged about 200 bushels an acre. 

“We had one plot tested, and it averaged 240 bushels an acre,” Kulzer said. “There are good yields this year.”

Good harvest conditions have been as much a part of the conversation as how much is being harvested. Last year was wet. Almost daily rains, cloudy and cool weather and saturated fields made it difficult to get a crop in. This year, crops came off the field fast. 

“Last year Oct. 6, we just finished chopping,” Kulzer said Oct. 7. 

“Now, we’ve finished chopping snaplage (ear corn that is harvested, chopped and stored for feeding), the beans are done, and we have a little bit of corn to pick. We are three to four weeks ahead.”

The quick maturity caught Funk, his family and neighbors by surprise. 

“Corn silage was ready about two weeks earlier (than last year),” Funk said. “We thought we’d be able to wait for high moisture corn, but when we checked the corn, the corn said, ‘it’s time.’ We went right from chopping silage to taking high-moisture corn.”

Right on the heels of the high-moisture corn came the soybean harvest. 

“We tried beans when we were doing high moisture corn, but the weather said it was not time. So we actually got to finish up high moisture corn and the next day switched to beans,” Funk said. “It makes it enjoyable when you don’t have to do both.”

Funk, his family and neighbors share equipment and labor when doing fieldwork. It is an element of farming in central Minnesota he really enjoys.

“We have a good neighborhood,” he said. “By the end of day today (Oct. 6), we will have four neighbors working to get stuff done. 

At one time, we had people from five different farms work with four different pieces of equipment.”

Harvesting is in its final stages. On Oct. 7, Austin Kulzer, Greg’s son, was baling corn stalks and soybeans for cattle bedding. After that, fields will be plowed and prepared for next year’s crop.

“It’s been nice with the conditions,” Austin Kulzer said of the harvest. “The weather has been nice, too.”