Surprising yields found in this year’s early corn harvest
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Few farmers expected the kinds of yields they are seeing with this year’s corn harvest.
With this summer’s hot and dry drought conditions, most farmers and crop consultants expected yields to suffer from the conditions.
While that has been true in some fields, farmers are seeing top yields nearing the 250-bushel mark in others. Yields above 200 bushels per acre are not uncommon this harvest.
One local farmer commented this week that this stands to be one of their best harvests ever, in terms of yields.
Several factors have played into those results.
Providing the corn had plenty of moisture during the crucial pollination period, it actually benefitted from the hot conditions.
Corn likes heat units and there was plenty of that to go around this past summer—again, providing the crop got enough moisture.
That moisture came in the form of irrigation, with the exception of a rain around July 4.
While summer rain storms failed to materialize, it also meant much of this year’s crop escaped without any hail damage. If it doesn’t rain, it also means it’s not going to hail.
Some fields suffered from wind damage but that was in a limited area southwest of Champion.
Snow welcome this weekend
Farmers weren’t complaining when they got pushed out of the harvest field this weekend due to about six inches of snow.
The snow brought about a half-inch of much-needed moisture for the winter wheat crop.
Some farmers had been waiting to plant their wheat, hoping for some moisture.
The moisture will be key for those fields already planted.