Corn fields are almost empty, beans are being harvested and the milo is drying out. Across Dickinson County the fields are yielding well and farmers are optimistic for a good year.
Dickinson County farmer Steve Hoover said a couple real hot days in July hurt the corn a little, but it still turned out to be a lot better than last year.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” he said.
Across the county the irrigated and the dryland corn yields have shown tremendous improvement over last year with test weights averaging 60 to 62 pounds per bushel. The quality of the corn is better as well said Larry Brake, senior location manager for Mid Kansas Cooperative.
For the past year the fungus Aflatoxin has been showing up in high concentration, in some instances as much as 100 parts per billion. Because Aflatoxin can be toxic to animals, the high levels made it difficult to sell the corn. This year Brake said he hasn’t seen the levels higher than six ppb.
“It is extremely good quality,” he said.
Darrell Faircloth, location manager for Gavilon Grain, said the bean yields are following suit with the corn. Although the harvest of the beans has just started it is looking better than expected so far.
Hoover is finding Faircloth’s assessment accurate in his fields where he expects yields to average around 40 bushels per acre this year as opposed to last year’s 30 to 35.
“To the north of us, it’s even better yields,” Faircloth said.
The potential for record soy bean yields was dashed earlier in the year when the weather started with heavy precipitation in late spring and early summer followed by four to six weeks on high temperatures with no moisture. But while it may not be a record year, it is shaping up to be very good.
The one damper on the good soy bean crop is the hit they have taken in the market.
“The I states (Illinois, Indiana and Iowa) seem to be having a pretty good harvest. It’s a supply and demand thing,” Brake said.
Although it is still at least a week, possibly two weeks, from that start of harvest, the consensus is that the milo is also looking good.
Faircloth said from what he can tell “it’s looking as good as ever. We have the potential for a tremendous milo crop.”