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Hurricanes complicate Delta corn harvest

Agriculture.com Staff 09/09/2008 @ 2:45pm

Standing water and lodging corn are the latest roadblocks standing between Delta farmers and the end of corn harvest in areas where hurricane after hurricane has lumbered ashore.

Heavy rains have knocked down corn and caused some lodging, but the moisture hasn't been accompanied by the heavy winds typical of inland-moving hurricanes, at least in parts of central and southern Mississippi. The storms have caused some damage and obviously delayed harvest, but the damage isn't so severe that, given time, the crop can't eventually make it into the bin.

"For the most part, our crop is still standing. It was not subjected to intensive winds as some parts of the state were," says Kosciusko, Mississippi-based agronomist and certified crop adviser (CCA) with Mississippi State University Extension, Ernie Flint. "We're going to have a wet harvest, especially if we get more rain in the following storms that are predicted. In some of the fields, we have lodged corn and corn has fallen in several different directions mixed in with corn that's still standing."

Flint describes some of the general corn conditions after a one-two punch of hurricanes hit the area in the last two weeks.

There are potential problems ahead, if wet conditions persist. Flint says while the younger corn is making it through the soggy conditions in decent shape, the more mature fields are "headed south fast.

Flint talks about some of the corn lodging and other conditions that will make harvest difficult once it can resume later this week or early next week.

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Standing water and lodging corn are the latest roadblocks standing between Delta farmers and the end of corn harvest in areas where hurricane after hurricane has lumbered ashore.

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