No matter how many comments are made about it, there is nothing that can be done to change the weather. This is especially true for the men and women who choose farming as a source of income.
With fall officially here and forecasts of possible frost this week, many farmers are working to harvest their fall crops.
The Democrat spoke last week to University of Missouri Extension Agricultural Business Specialist Brent Carpenter regarding the crop outlook.
“Crops got off to a good start this year,” Carpenter said. “Corn and soybean acres were planted earlier than normal, with some corn being planted in late March.
“There was relatively little replanting, which is often needed with corn planted that early,” he added.
Carpenter commented that both May and June were abnormally dry for most fields.
“We were near a crop disaster at the end of June,” Carpenter said. “At that point the crop was stressed and another week of dry weather would have done substantial damage.
“Fortunately, the rains started in July and continued,” he added. “The recent rains are welcome, giving farmers a chance to reset and it also reduces the pressure on area grain handling facilities.”
Carpenter said the corn harvest is in its final stages with only 15 to 20 percent of the corn rows left standing.
“The corn harvest started earlier than normal and progressed rapidly,” Carpenter said. “Yields reports are positive for corn.
“It’s not at the record of 187 bushels in 2014,” he added. “But we can expect the county average to be well above normal.”
This year’s soybean crop may set records, according to Carpenter.
“Almost a third of the soybeans have been harvested,” Carpenter said. “Any late planted fields are still too green to harvest.
“We’re expecting a very good yield for soybeans and the record set in 2014 of 49.3 bushels may be challenged,” he added.
Nationally, Carpenter said, estimates for corn are for a record yield more than 170 bushels per acre and a record production more than 15 billion bushels, which is much higher than the previous records set in 2013 and 2014.
The results for soybeans are similar.
Carpenter said there have been record yields of more than 50 bushels and record production, breaking through 4 billion bushels for the first time.
“Because of the record yields, this is putting downward pressure on both corn and soybean prices, which are currently below the costs of production,” Carpenter said. “The fall harvest has an important impact on the local and regional economy.
“With harvest time prices low, the estimated farm value of the fall crop will likely be $60 to $70 million,” he added.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.