Earlier predictions of reduced yields for Fulton County’s corn and soybean crops are proving true.
Greg LaBarge, Fulton County agricultural extension agent, said Monday he had heard soybean yield reports running from 30 to 40 bushels to the acre for field averages.
The county’s average for soybeans is around 45 bushels to the acre.
LaBarge said most of the soybeans in the county have been harvested. There are some left "here and there."
The yield numbers "are certainly not what we had hoped for."
He said the quality of this year’s soybean crop has been okay, but the beans themselves are smaller, which result in lower bushels-per-acre figures.
LaBarge estimated that about half of the county’s corn crop has been harvested. Reports are ranging from 120 to 125 bushels per acre, to as high as 170 to 180 bushels per acre.
The five-year county average for corn is 172 bushels per acre, he said.
The loss in yields for both crops falls back to a lack of rain. The Archbold wastewater treatment plant recorded a 56-day period without signifi- cant rainfall over the summer months.
LaBarage said the differences in yields can be explained by different soil types, and the ability of different soil types to hold moisture.
For example, clay soils, common around Archbold, hold moisture better than some of the sandy soils in the Pettisville area. The longer the ground can retain moisture, the better the crops grow in that soil.
Prices paid for corn and soybeans for future delivery rose sharply over the mid-summer months, so farmers had some opportunity to do well if they sold during that period, he said.
But in the last three to four weeks, prices have fallen. In the past three weeks, corn prices were down about $1.30 per bushel. Soybean prices were off by $2.40.
Looking at the 2009 crop, LaBarge said farmers will be faced with higher input costs for fertilizer, seed, and diesel fuel.
Diesel fuel has come down recently, but chemical prices have risen, and fertilizer prices have leveled off at a higher price.