Despite a challenging year, harvest is better than expected for farmers in western Missouri.
According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, 80 percent of Missouri’s corn crop is already harvested. That’s 47 points ahead of normal. AgDay National Reporter Tyne Morgan has the story.
Harvest came a month early in western Missouri. Even though the calendar date indicates harvest should just be starting, the Matthews brothers are already finished harvesting corn.
"This particular farm is going to average about 40 to 50 bushels per acre," said Travis Matthews, a corn and soybean farmer in Carroll County, Missouri. "That’s way under the farm average. It should make 140 to 160 bushels per acre year in and year out."
Last year’s flooding seeped into the field leaving sandy pockets. Combined with this year’s drought and extreme heat, the sand brought down the overall farm yield.
Corn so brown it’s almost black in color with stalks so weak it looks like even the slightest wind would blow it over, is on about 200 of Matthews’ total acres. Burnt to a crisp, those acres won’t get harvested this year. But not all of Matthews’ acres had a dismal end.
"For all of our corn acres, we’re going to average between 80 and 110 bushels per acre," Matthews said.
Considering Matthews predicated an average of 60 bushels per acre on all of his corn acres, he’s pleased.
Matthews says it’s more than just his corn crop that’s better than expected. He’s just started harvesting soybeans, and those yields are also a little above what he originally anticipated.
"This is the third farm we’ve harvested. The first field made about 42 (bushels per acre), the second made 40 (bushels per acre). On this particular field we have more than 400 acres of soybeans. We’re hoping for a 35 bushel (per acre) average," Matthews said.
Matthews says that’s about 15 bushels per acre better than expected.
"We had some late rains. There at the end of August we had a seven inch rain," said Matthews. "It put some extra growth back in the beans, put a little test weight back in them."
Matthews says mother nature didn’t provide much hope for a decent crop. So most farmers were extremely pessimistic going into harvest. And while the yields aren’t exceptional, due to that mindset, yields are beating most farmers’ expectations.
"Everybody was anticipating a lot of 7, 10, or 15 bushels (per acre) beans, 40 to 50 bushels (per acre) corn. As a whole, I think the county is better than everyone anticipated," Matthews said.
The rain that drenched the area in late summer and helped the soybean crop, also improved the soil moisture profile in the area.
"I feel like we are in really good shape going into fall," said Matthews. Fall tillage is working a lot better, if someone wanted to plant some winter wheat, I think the moisture is there."
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