Farmers are waiting on good harvesting weather and for corn standing in the fields to dry a bit further, before wrapping up the 2012 harvest season.
“We had rain last Wednesday (Oct. 17); then on Thursday and Friday (Oct. 18-19), it was damp. That kept guys out of the fields,” said Eric Richer, Fulton County agricultural extension agent.
The weather improved on Sunday, and Monday’s moderate temperatures and sunny skies gave the potential for a good day for harvesting.
While farmers finish the harvesting of soybeans, they are waiting for the moisture content in corn kernels to drop from the low 20% range, where it stands now, closer to the 15% elevators are looking for.
Richer added some farmers are “sneaking in some fall tillage when they can.”
“Generally speaking, guys are pleasantly surprised with soybean (yields), but there are still some fields that are below average,” he said.
Earlier reports said yields were running about average– good news given the high heat and drought condi- tions over the summer.
Last year, Fulton County’s soybean average was 48 bushels to the acre.
Reports on corn are all over the board.
Some have reported corn yields “in the double digits, in the real low double digits,” he said.
“And there’s also been word of some fields that have averaged 200 bushels per acre.
“Occasionally a field does very poor, and occasionally, a field does very well.”
Yields will also vary widely, not just from field to field, but in the same pass in the same field.
“Yield monitors will read anywhere from 0 to 200 in the same pass,” he said.
“Very mixed. Very variable.”
In 2011, the average corn yield in the county was 159 bushels per acre.