Morgan-Cass Farm Bureau president weighs in on harvest

By Jim McCabe on October 8 at 1:58pm

Many local farmers want it to be drier so they can work on their grain harvest.

That’s according to Morgan-Cass Farm Bureau president Jon Freeman, who says a lot of corn has not reached maturity locally, and many producers are having trouble getting corn below 20 percent moisture. He says it’s due to late-spring planting and a wet summer.

“There’s quite a bit of corn that was planted in June, and that’s really still going to be real wet,” Freeman says.

“That’s going to be in the 30 percent range, and it’s very hard to handle, very hard to dry. As far as soybeans go, they’re maturing probably better than the corn since they are daylight-sensitive crops versus the corn being a heat ingredient crop,” he says.

Freeman says 15 percent soil moisture is the level where corn is buyable.

“If you’re at a higher rate, of course you’ve got drying charges and shrink charges. If you’re 25 percent corn, you’ve got a 14 percent shrink, because 1.4 percent per point- either cash or weight-wise- plus your drying charges, so, the moisture goes up, your dock goes up, although you’re selling a lot of water, but you still got a dock in there, versus 15 to 18 percent,” says Freeman.

He says out of the eight corn fields he runs, only two have been harvested because of wet corn. He adds soybeans that were planted earlier are being harvested locally.

Freeman says yields are looking better than last year.

“You have to consider, we had some yields that were 30 [bushels per acre]. They might be 110 or 120 [now]. So, we’re back to maybe average or above-average,” he says.

“Of course, that’s depending on how many water holes we have in the fields. I know some of the fellas are finding more water holes in corn fields than what they thought they had. We noticed that a month or so ago when we were flying over the area.”

He says subsoil moisture to start off the planting season this year- something that was absent last year- has helped carry local crops through the dry period of August.

There will be no USDA crop progress report until the partial shutdown of the federal government is over.