Corn and soybean crops in Archbold and Fulton County look good, but optimism is tempered with caution.
Darwin Beck, president of the Ridgeville Elevator, Ridgeville Corners, warns this year’s crop “is not in the bins yet.
“The beans need some water now. If we get some rain, it will be a tremendous crop,” he said.
Other area elevator offi- cials and Eric Richer, Fulton County Agricultural Extension Agent, basically agreed.
“The beans could use some rain. August is generally regarded as pod-filling month,” and moisture is needed for that to happen, Richer said.
The corn yield has already been established.
“The kernels that are going to get set are set. Now they need to fill, dent, and harden,” Richer said.
Chet Phillips, manager at Gerald Grain, said if someone would have asked him if the area was expecting a great crop, “I would have said yes. But now, it’s getting dry.”
As a result, prices have dropped, bottoming out last week at $4.50 for a bushel of corn delivered in December, and $11.70 to $11.80 for soybeans delivered during November.
Now, with dry weather, Phillips said prices are rebounding to around $4.85 for corn and $13 for soybeans.
“The market never sleeps,” he said.
Right now, he said crops in the area look “about as good as anywhere in the country.”
Phillips said if the area could get one more good rain of about 1 1/2 inches, that would be just the ticket.
Neil Rupp, Pettisville Grain, said if rain would fall in the next week to 10 days, it would be good news.
Prices are nowhere near where they have been for the last two years, which included last year’s drought conditions.
In those days, Pettisville Grain paid over $8 per bushel for corn and as high as $17 per bushel for soybeans.
One positive aspect of lower prices that Rupp pointed out is that it becomes more reasonable to feed livestock.
“Feeding livestock was rough with super-high prices,” he said.
Richer declined to make any per-acre yield predictions, noting the United States Department of Agriculture had backed off some of its earlier forecasts.
Beck said he’s heard all kinds of yield estimates.
“It all depends on the weather,” he said.
A good rain at the right time “would be a big moneymaker.”