Farmers harvest corn despite moisture

Staff writer

Marion area farmer Tom Oborny, 21, has been busy cutting corn even though there is standing water in places in some fields.

“We weren’t really sure if we should be rolling today,” he said on Thursday. “There is water at the bottom of some terraces. Combines don’t like the mud.”

In general, farmers don’t like to tear up or track up fields when they are planning to plant again because it makes more work and a bumpy, uncomfortable tractor ride, he said, but farmers tend to disc fields again if planting winter wheat.

Farmers also need to finish harvest so they can get their next crop in, he said.

“I can’t remember cutting this late since I was in junior high,” he said. “There is some urgency to get it cut, not so much if you’re planting corn again. Corn can sit awhile and still be good, but there is a small window to get wheat in.”

Many farmers like to start sowing winter wheat sometime around the middle of September and like to done by mid-October.

“Some guys are cussing [the weather,]” he said. “There was lots of sun and water; I think the corn would have been taller if June had been wetter. Luckily we didn’t get hit that bad by it.”

Oborny said his family’s fields have yielded about 147 bushels of corn per acre, and he hasn’t heard of anyone getting less than 120 bushels per acre.

He said he has cut worse corn than what his family is harvesting this year, but moisture has left a little something to be desired.

“The biggest thing is that it’s not as pretty in the truck,” Oborny said. “It’s not that nice golden yellow. It’s a bit musty, and the mildew is less than optimal.

The Obornys should be finished harvesting corn soon.

Chuck Knight, Mid-Kansas Co-op Association location manager, said most of the corn in the Peabody and Florence area has been harvested.

“We are pretty much done,” Knight said. “The corn is looking OK. There’s been a little cob rot.”

He said Peabody elevator took about 400,000 bushels of corn and Florence took around 150,000 bushels, but neither elevator has taken any soybeans.

“It’s been too wet,” he said Thursday. “We might start seeing some the first of the week.”

Nathan Fish, elevator manager at Cooperative Grain and Supply in Hillsboro, estimated Thursday that Hillsboro area corn is about 95 percent done, and Marion area corn to be a little behind that.

“It’s been a little wetter near Marion than in Hillsboro,” Fish said, “But we’re right on track. I’d say we’ve got above average corn yields this year.”

Hillsboro elevator has taken approximately 817,000 bushels of corn and Marion has taken about 432,000 bushels, but Fish said, quite a bit of corn has had cob rot.

Hillsboro also has taken about 21,000 bushels of sorghum, and a few beans, hardly enough to note, Fish said, while Marion has yet to take any sorghum or soybeans, he said.

“We just started taking sorghum,” Fish said. “The beans still need to mature. I’d say they’ll be ready to cut in about a week.”

Last modified Oct. 6, 2016

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