Hot, dry weather stunts corn yields
The fall corn crop is the best it has ever been or dreadfully mediocre. It just depends on where you are and whom you ask.
“It’s crazy,” said James Olsen from the cab of his harvester. “It’s farming. It’s like a big trip to Vegas every time you make a round.”
Terry Vinduska, with the state’s corn council, said hot, dry weather damaged some of the crop this year even as low-lying areas suffered flood damage.
“Overall yields have varied from slightly below average to a bit above,” he said. “Most of us are satisfied.”
The National Agricultural Statistics Service rated 8% of the state’s corn crop in very poor condition, 13% poor, 25% fair, 44% good, and 10% excellent.
County extension agent Rickey Roberts said harvests always are variable. Rain doesn’t fall equally for everyone.
There is still some good corn in the southeast part of the county, he said.
“There can be good corn all over,” he said. “It just depends on whether or not your field happened to catch the rain.”
Test weights in Olsen’s field have been 58 to 59.
Prices are better than they have been, but costs have risen, too.
Olsen decided not to spray with fungicide this year.
“It doesn’t seem to have hurt it though,” he said.
Some farmers have cut fields for silage, but Olsen said much of his crop escaped damage.
John Ottensmeier manager of Marion’s Cooperative Grain and Supply elevator, said this year’s crop was not as good as last years.
Test weights have averaged 56.
“You see some fields that might have been better,” he said. “Some have seen 80, but in a better year that field might have been 100.”