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Dryers working OT to keep up with soybeans

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP)--Crews running dryers at area elevators are working extended shifts to keep up with farmers battling to finish a late and soggy soybean harvest.

Employees at the South Dakota Wheat Growers Grebner Terminal east of Aberdeen are working with the dryers and moving beans to give farmers more room to drop theirs, said grain originator Gary Van Vleet.

The elevator can dry 125,000 bushels of soybeans daily, a quota that's often filled in those five hours.

"They've been hauling us more beans than we can dry in a day,'' Van Vleet said.

Wet weather this summer and fall delayed farmers from getting into their fields to harvest beans. Combines and other heavy equipment were getting mired in muck as producers took advantage of nice days to try to get beans out of the field.

Brown County Extension educator Ron Dodds estimates that 10 percent to 15 percent cannot be harvested because the fields are too wet. Some fields are still standing in water.

Statewide, 93 percent of beans had been harvested as of Nov. 15, compared to 76 percent the previous week and 50 percent by Nov. 1, according to the weekly crop report published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Last year, though, all soybeans had been harvested by this date.

Soybeans need to have 13 percent or less moisture to avoid drying.

Most beans coming in need drying, said Tim Borg, manager of the Grebner terminal. Some farmers dry soybeans at home before bringing them to the elevator, but for the most part the beans are too damp to store immediately.

Little corn has been harvested as farmers concentrate on harvesting beans, officials said. Statewide, 27 percent of corn for grain had been harvested as of Nov. 15, compared to 18 percent the previous week.

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