With a little luck and some more dry days Missouri farmers should be able to finish getting their crops out of the fields.
A wet spring delayed planting. A wet fall delayed harvest.
In non-technical terms, it was an odd weather year; a suggestion that strikes Gene Danekas, director of the Missouri National Agricultural Statistics Service Office in Columbia, as a bit funny.
“I guess so,” Danekas says after chuckling a bit. “I mean, if you’re not farming you probably enjoyed this summer, because people in town didn’t have to water their lawns and they didn’t have to run the air conditioner a whole lot. So it was pretty nice.”
Danekas tells us rain put farmers three to four weeks behind throughout the year. The corn harvest is now better than 85% complete with 90% of the state’s soybeans harvested. Excess rain in southeast Missouri crippled chances for a record cotton crop. Danekas says an early evaluation of cotton predicted a record crop. A lot of cotton will be harvested, but the rain came after the bolls were open, causing many to drop.
Rain might have slowed farmers, but it boosted yield. The Agricultural Statistics Service reports that corn yield is up an average of seven bushels per acre and the soybean yield is up an average of six bushels per acre. Danekas says crop quality might have suffered a bit due to the wet summer.
The delay in harvest will have an effect on the planting of one crop: winter wheat. Danekas says that the planting of winter wheat is well behind normal. He expects fewer acres of winter wheat to be planted in Missouri this year than last year or than normal.
“You know, if you really got down to it, I think some guys would say they would rather have a year like 2009 than they would some of these drought years we’ve had by a long shot,” Danekas says.
Even now, some fields remain wet. Still, Danekas expects harvest to be virtually complete by the end of this week.
Brent Martin reports