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2017 Harvest Underway: ‘230-Bushel Corn Is Fantastic’
While Midwest farmers try to figure out what their crops will be like this fall, some southern U.S. farmers are seeing record yields on their combine monitors.
Louisiana Combines Roll
While not a major corn-producing state, Louisiana has had Iowa-like corn weather and the harvest, in its third week, is showing it.
Keith Collins, a Louisiana State University Ag Center Extension agent located in Richland Parish, says some farmers are already 50% harvested with yield averages of 230 bushels per acre.
“We’ll have a record crop, probably,” Collins says. “The crop is fantastic. One area farmer told me that for the first time in his 35-year career, he has corn like Iowa.”
This northeastern Louisiana parish has a lot of on-farm storage. So, farmers are harvesting corn with 25% moisture and then drying it down, Collins says.
And the story gets even better.
“Though we are 95% irrigated corn around here, the fantastic weather has allowed for very little irrigation, this year. We’ve had mild temperatures most of the season,” Collins says.
As of Sunday, the USDA reported that Louisiana’s corn harvest is 30% completed vs. 17% a week ago but behind a 79% five-year average.
Mississippi Corn, Soybean Harvest
As of Sunday, Mississippi farmers had 5% of the corn crop out of the field, equal to its five-year average.
Charlie Stoaks, Mississippi State Extension agent in Monroe County, says the yields are coming in pretty high for his state as well.
“We have had plenty of moisture when the corn was in the pollination stage, along with cool temperatures,” says Stoaks.
In northeast Mississippi, historical corn yield averages are 140 bushels per acre.
“This year, we’re seeing yields range from 175 to 190 bushels per acre,” Stoaks says. “We’ve been wet this week, so harvest activity has been slowed.”
On the other side of the state, Mississippi farmers are experiencing a delay in harvest due to rainy conditions. However, what has come out of the fields so far is promising.
“From what I hear about the few guys who have gotten into their fields, it’s a pretty good crop,” says Dee Paul, a Yazoo City, Mississippi, farmer.
Paul adds, “We’ve had good rains all summer long. For soybeans, maybe we have had too much rain.”
In this west-central Mississippi county of Yazoo, Paul says harvest activity is about on time this year.
“We usually look at an August 10 start date. We should be done harvesting by the end of August. Some guys are already taking out early planted soybeans that they will follow up with sugarcane. Those yield reports are coming in around 40 bushels per acre,” Paul says.