Wet weather, both this fall and this spring, has drastically delayed harvest.
A wet spring delayed planting. A wet fall has delayed harvest. According to the Missouri office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Columbia, the corn harvest is only 49% complete, 36 days behind normal. Only a third of the soybean crop has been harvested, now 22 days behind normal. Two-thirds of the grain sorghum, or milo, harvest also remains in the field, also 36 days behind normal.
Tommy Sallee with the service agrees that’s not just a little bit behind.
“This year and last year both, we were as much as a month behind the whole season,” Sallee tells the Missourinet. “You’re right, that’s quite a bit behind.”
Add to the wet weather in both spring and fall, cold wet weather this summer, which delayed crop maturity.
In southeast Missouri, the cotton harvest is barely underway, only 17% complete, more than a month behind normal and though the rice harvest is nearly 80% complete, that’s still 25 days behind normal.
Farmers are being pressed. The longer the crop stays in the field, the more the yield deteriorates. The service predicted a bumper crop the first of October; if not record production, near record yields. Delays in harvest reduce yield as plants begin to slump. Some might even rot. The crops won’t simply sit and wait in the field until harvested.
Sallee says a few more dry, warm, perhaps even windy, days will help.
“Of course, as we have bigger and bigger machinery, they can get more and more harvested in a shorter amount of time,” Sallee says. “They just need the opportunity to get into the fields.”
The bumper harvest predicted in October now depends on weather in November so that farmers can get in their fields and get their crops out.