Rain interferes with harvest

Staff writer

Recent rains have caused a few hiccups in corn harvest around the county.

Extension agent Ricky Roberts said moisture slows everything down.

“The biggest thing is we can’t get in the fields and quote ‘get any work done,’” he said. “It’s too muddy to harvest in some fields. If guys got in there it would tear the ground up.”

Chuck Knight, location manager for Mid-Kansas Coop Association in Florence, said corn harvest was “rolling pretty good” until the most recent rain.”

“The rain put that to a stop,” he said. “Some, not all, fields are getting torn up. It probably won’t start again until the rain stops.”

Andy Kelsey, agronomist with Hillsboro Cooperative Grain and Supply, explained that while not all fields are bad some farmers had experienced moisture-related problems.

“It’s time to harvest the corn but a lot of guys are getting it picked,” Kelsey said. “Quite a few guys still haven’t got into the fields, only a handful are picking corn. Some guys are tracking up their fields with combines but they’re going to have to work the ground again to get wheat in. It could possibly come down to a late planting. ”

Farmers waiting to harvest are doing so for several moisture-related reasons.

“The ground is too wet and some of the corn is still too wet,” Kelsey said. “The corn needs to reach a certain moisture level.”

The rain is also causing issues with the corn itself, he said.

Corn needs to be dried so it does not mold in storage. He said corn can be dried down with a grain drier at the elevators but many farmers do not want to pay the fee because of depressed prices nationwide.

Moisture also seems to be affecting corns’ usual cycle.

“Many ears are still upright,” Kelsey said. “Normally they will drop down and hang around harvest time. When it rains, water gets in the husk. It creates increased mold and cob rot, which is something no one wants to see.”

He has also noticed that some ears have seeds that are germinating.

“It’s been such a wet environment,” Kelsey said. “It’s been ideal for germination.”

Last modified Sept. 22, 2016