Harvest winding down here
The fall harvest is wrapping up in Jackson County, and yields for both corn and soybeans have been a mixture of average to below average, according to David Hallauer, Meadowlark Extension District crops, soils and horticulture agent.
“A lot came down to how much rain we had in July and into August – and we did not get any,” Hallauer said. “The lack of mid- to late season moisture probably made things pretty viable. Even within farms, you’re going to have some areas pretty decent and the other parts just nothing at all,” Hallauer said.
The lack of rain this summer produced more viability with soybeans, Hallauer said.
“I think there’s going to be spots on a farm that are probably at a field average and then maybe a large area of a field that is not,” he said. “In most cases, we’re seeing an average to below average crop.”
While disease and pests were present this season, Hallauer said the weather was the main underlying factor come harvest time.
“You don’t have to go very far west and it gets significantly bad very quickly,” he said.
Hallauer said that the planting season was “very extended” for northeast Kansas farmers.
“We were able to get started on things fairly early. There were a couple of delays in there that kept us out for a little bit between cool weather and some moisture in some cases. I think things got planted in a fairly timely manner. It was just spread out over time,” he said.
Despite the average to below average yields, Hallauer said that “markets are going to remain strong” as area farmers work now to plant winter wheat or cover crops.
“There’s optimism that we’ll get out of this weather pattern,” he said. “Market prices are still very solid and that’s an encouragement to continue to try some of those things. Input prices are high. That’s a challenge, but it’s just a balancing act to try to get a crop in and do it in an economical manner.”
Hallauer said that even with very little rain this summer, Jackson County farmers were still able to put up a hay crop.
“We were fortunate to get the hay crop that we did early on. As dry as it was, I was pretty fearful, but I think in most cases, we saw a so-so hay crop,” he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress report, which was released on Monday, 83 percent of corn in Kansas has been harvested, which is the same as this time last year.
Kansas corn production is forecasted at 592 million bushels this year, down 21 percent from last year’s production. Yields are estimated at 115 bushels per acre, which is down 24 bushels from last year.
The USDA also reported that more than half of the state’s corn is in “poor” or “very poor” condition.
The weekly USDA report estimated that 66 percent of soybean fields in the state have been harvested so far, which is up from the 55 percent harvested at this time last year.
The U.S. Soybean production is forecast at 140 million bushels, which is down 27 percent from last year. Yields are forecasted at 28 bushels per acre, down 12 bushels from last year.