For many years, lefse making went off without a hitch. My family formed an assembly line and spent hours rolling the dough as thin as possible, dousing the rolling board with copious amounts of flour, and carefully monitoring the griddle. We were a well-oiled Norwegian machine, cranking out enough lefse to feed an army…or maybe just a small Scandinavian-American family through the Christmas season.
Area farmers may find themselves in a similar situation this year. Your favorite corn hybrids and soybean varieties may have performed differently this year. So differently, in fact, that you may be second guessing your cropping decisions and even the maturities you typically plant on your farm. This is especially true for area growers who are still harvesting corn.
PFS corn expert Rich Larson says area corn growers are going through “mental gymnastics” this year. Late planting due to a wet spring; drought conditions in July and August that did not advance the maturity of the corn; and a cool, wet fall with less drydown created the perfect storm, and made corn harvest less than optimal. Top it all off with a propane shortage, and emotions are running high.
This harvest season likely has you reconsidering your cropping plan for 2014. Should you switch to earlier maturing hybrids? Should you plant more soybeans next year?
Rich’s advice? Don’t base next year’s cropping decisions on what has happened in the last month. And definitely don’t compare it to last year, an almost perfect growing season. Look at the big picture. Consider what maturity has been successful in the past several years on your farm. Don’t let your short-term memory override your long-term memory.
As Rich says, “planting too early of a hybrid than is optimal for your farm will guarantee a 20 bushel yield loss. There is more than a 50% chance you will regret your decision to choose earlier maturing hybrids.” Stick to your resolve.
As for the lefse…will we switch recipes this year? Absolutely not. Our recipe has been successfully executed for decades, and we will use it again. Operation Lefse 2012 may have been the perfect storm for lefse chips. On the bright side, they were excellent with salsa.