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Moisture slows harvest PDF Print E-mail


By Jan Rahn

Managing Editor

Corn farmers were taking advantage of the perfect fall weather the first three weeks of October to get their crop in, and it’s a good thing—wet weather Monday put a damper on it.

According to a prediction by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, producers can expect the second-highest corn yields on record. 

In the Wallace area, yields were averaging 90-110 bushels per acre dryland when harvest got underway, said John Hart of the Wallace Scoular Company. 

Picking irrigated corn was really get ramped up by the middle of the month. Harvesting of dryland corn in western Perkins County was pretty well over by mid-October said Gary Talich, manager of Frenchman Valley Co-op. 

“Yields are all over the board,” said Talich, “with some better and some worse.” He said the yields ranged from 40-120, but most hovered in the 80-90 range. 

Harvest of irrigated corn had slowed down due to higher moisture. Some irrigated corn came in the first part of October along with the dryland.  

“Farmers are backing off and waiting,” he said of the irrigated crop. “Lots of dry corn came in, but now it’s slowing down.”

Concerning yields, Talich said producers are a little disappointed, having thought it might be better. 

Test weights are mostly in the 55-58 pound range.  

The U.S. Dept. of Ag predicts an average of 170 bushels per acre. Last year’s average yield was 178 bushels per acre. 

In previous years—corn yields averaged 163 bushels in 2008 and 160 bushels per acre in 2007.

If predictions hold true, Nebraska could have a 1.51 billion bushel corn crop in 2010, according to Kelly Brunkhorst, director of research for the Nebraska Corn Board.

Last year’s crop set the record at 1.58 billion bushels.

Nationally, USDA estimated yields at 155.8 bushels per acre, below last year’s record of 164.7. 

If realized, that would put the U.S. corn crop at 12.7 billion bushels. As forecast, both those figures would be the third-largest on record.

“While the yield reduction appears to tighten the corn market a bit, we’re confident about the current supply picture,” Brunkhorst said. “At the same time, we’ll have good supplies of other corn products, including some 4.2 million tons of distillers’ grains being produced by Nebraska ethanol plants this year alone.”

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

Source: Nebraska Corn Board