Greg LaBarge, Fulton County agricultural extension agent, said Monday news from this year’s harvest has been “probably pretty good.”
Yield ranges on corn and soybeans have been wide, he said. The harvesting of soybeans is nearly complete, with yield ranges between the mid-40 to mid-60 bushels-per-acre range. The five-year average for Fulton County is 45.6 bushels of soybeans to the acre.
The harvest of the corn crop is 60% to 70% complete. The corn yield is running between 135 to 235 bushels per acre of corn. The county’s five-year average for corn is 166 bushels to the acre.
The soybean crop is “drier than we want it to be,” La- Barge said.
Typically, farmers prefer to harvest soybeans when the moisture content of the bean is about 13.5%. At that level, elevators won’t discount the payments.
LaBarge said he had been hearing reports of soybeans with moisture contents as low as 9% to 10%.
“We’re losing some weight at the market,” he said.
Part of the situation with soybeans is the result of wide differences in planting dates. Some soybeans were planted in April, but then spring rains came and shut down operations. The majority of the beans didn’t get planted until Memorial Day.
Some fields were partially planted, and those earlyplanted beans were ready much sooner than rest of the fields.
The bigger issue is the dry weather, which has prevailed since the beginning of August. Plants matured much faster, and as a result, many fields of soybeans dried before they could be harvested.
In the meantime, LaBarge said farmers are hoping for more rain to help the winter wheat crop, even if it delays the corn harvest.
There are fields where the wheat crop is beginning to emerge, with individual plants poking through the soil.
“That’s surprising given how dry the soils are,” La- Barge said.